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Paul’s warning about false stories and his call to quit touching the unclean thing

Paul’s warning about false stories is in the first letter he wrote to Timothy, a Christian elder. Paul told Timothy to keep the congregation clean and to help his brothers and sisters to stay loyal to Jehovah.

1 Timothy 1:18, 19: 18 This instruction* I entrust to you, my child Timothy, in harmony with the prophecies that were made about you, that by these you may go on waging the fine warfare,+ 19 holding faith and a good conscience,+ which some have thrust aside, resulting in the shipwreck of their faith.

The Greek word that Paul used for “false stories” means “a lie” or “a made-up story.” One book says that a false story is a religious story that has no connection with what is real. (The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia) Perhaps Paul was thinking about the religious lies that came from old stories that people made up and that made others curious.*

Paul said that these stories were dangerous because they “furnish questions for research.” This means that people who pay attention to these stories start having questions about things that are not true and then use their time trying to find the answers.

The adversaries of God (also called Satan) do like to bring division in those who are looking for God and into those who want to be part of the Body of Christ. Christendom has lots of preachers who worship another god than Jews, like Jesus worshipped only One True God. They follow lots of human teachings which where brought into the religion by the years, by so called “theologians” who claimed to be clergy ordained by God.

We must be fully aware that there are lots of people who like to twist the words of the bible, which we consider the infallible Word of God. They offer the world a false religion to fool people. That is why the Bible says that he makes himself into “an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14) For example, the religions of Christendom say that they follow Christ, but they teach lies like the Trinity and hellfire. They also teach that some part of humans lives on after the death of the body. Many think that Christmas and Easter please God, but the things that people do during these celebrations really come from false worship. False stories will not fool us if we pay attention to God’s warning to separate ourselves from false religion and

“quit touching the unclean thing.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-17).

When we hear the majority of people we may get the impression it all does not matter so much. But we may not be mistaken. God gives enough warnings and lets the world know that He is a serious God of order who wants people to recognise Him as the Only One true God. As a jealous God He also does not like it that graven images or pictures are  made of Him and other gods to pray to Him and other gods. He detest any form of heathen worship. But lots of people want to convince you and others that it does not matter to participate at those many heathen festivals, like Halloween, Christmas, Easter and so on. They want you to believe all those stories about Santa Claus, the elf’s, Easter bunnies do no harm. Such teachers are the ones Paul and other apostles warn for. Because they allow wrong actions to be done by you, and you to be a partaker of heathen festivals, which is an abomination in the eyes of God.

A map of the world, showing the major religion...

A map of the world, showing the major religions distributed in the world as of today. A different type of map which views only the religion as a whole excluding denominations or sects of the religions, and is colored by how the religions are distributed not by main religion of country etc. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We may never forget that the first and biggest lie, which false teachers bring is:

You can do whatever you want; you decide what is right and what is wrong.

We often hear this on television, in movies, in magazines, in newspapers, and on the Internet. Because we hear this lie all the time, it is easy for us to start to think that way and follow the immoral ideas of the world. But the truth is that we need God to tell us what is right and what is wrong.

Jeremiah 10:2323 I well know, O Jehovah, that man’s way does not belong to him. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.+

The second lie is:

You are now saved and free to do whatever you want. God will never change anything on the earth.

This idea makes people think only about today. They do not care about the future or about pleasing God. Several preachers wants the Christians to believe they are saved for ever and have not to worry any more about what they do or if they sin, because according to those false teachers they always will end up in heaven.

Such thought of not having to do any works of faith is a false teaching which lures lots of Christians in not bothering any more to do good and to avoid doing wrong. Lots of people start to think like them and then become “inactive or unfruitful” in their service to God. They become partakers of this world corrupt system, avoiding you to escape the entrapments of this world.

2 Peter 1:4-8-11: Through these things he has granted* us the precious and very grand promises,+ so that through these you may become sharers in divine nature,+ having escaped from the world’s corruption produced by wrong desire.* For this very reason, put forth all earnest effort+ to supply to your faith virtue,+ to your virtue knowledge,+ to your knowledge self-control, to your self-control+ endurance, to your endurance godly devotion,+ to your godly devotion brotherly affection, to your brotherly affection love.+ For if these things exist in you and overflow, they will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful*+ regarding the accurate knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For anyone lacking these things is blind, shutting his eyes to the light,*+ and has become forgetful of his cleansing from his sins+ of long ago. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling+ and choosing sure for yourselves, for if you keep on doing these things, you will by no means ever fail.+ 11 In fact, in this way you will be richly granted* entrance into the everlasting Kingdom+ of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.+

False teachers blind people or shut their eyes for their actions and for abstaining from certain actions the people of the world like to do. They give the impression it does not harm to be of this world and to partake into all the actions of this world.

English: Peresopnytsia Gospels. 1556-1561. Min...

Peresopnytsia Gospels. 1556-1561. Miniature of Saint Matthew. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Already early in the beginning of manhood man became to dread the presence of God because they were under His wrath. The children of Adam and Eve present to us a picture of good and false religion. Cain his offering was not done in the right way and was rejected, which made him furious and made him to kill his brother Abel. Later in history man sought all sorts of ways to elucidate things he could not understand and therefore started making different gods. They also started to split the elements of nature into characters of God, often giving reason for them to worship elements of natural phenomenons and creating ones-more false gods. Trying to declare the events in our world lots of philosophies were brought forward. Many people got carried away by such philosophies and by teachers using lots of such theories. Also today we can see that false teachers take many captive through their words full of philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on the teachings of the Jewish Nazarene Jeshua, Christ Jesus.

Colossians 2:8-9: Look out that no one takes you captive* by means of the philosophy and empty deception+ according to human tradition, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ; because it is in him that all the fullness of the divine quality dwells bodily.+

Neither Jesus nor his disciples ever quoted oral Jewish tradition to support their teachings but, rather, appealed to the written Word of God. (Mt 4:4-10; Ro 15:4; 2Ti 3:15-17) It is the Word of Gdo as presented in the Scriptures which we should hear and take into account.

Mt 4:4-10: But he answered: “It is written: ‘Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every word that comes from Jehovah’s* mouth.’”+

Then the Devil took him along into the holy city,+ and he stationed him on the battlement* of the temple+ and said to him: “If you are a son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written: ‘He will give his angels a command concerning you,’ and, ‘They will carry you on their hands, so that you may not strike your foot against a stone.’”+ Jesus said to him: “Again it is written: ‘You must not put Jehovah* your God to the test.’”+

Again the Devil took him along to an unusually high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.+ And he said to him: “All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him: “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘It is Jehovah* your God you must worship,+ and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’”+ 11 

Jesus as the son of God never wanted to test God and preferred doing God His will, not his own will. Jesus gave an example to us how we, like him, should obey only Jehovah God and not try the Most High God to see how far we can go or what we can do to better ourselves. All people should come to understand not human teachings are going to bring the all life saving knowledge. Man should know that the Most High God provided all knowledge man should know to come to live a proper life giving him the opportunity to enter the Kingdom of God.

Ro 15:4: For all the things that were written beforehand were written for our instruction,+ so that through our endurance+ and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope.+

Though it might ask patience fro mus it are the writings in those old manuscripts, reprinted in the different Bible translations, which shall bring hope and comfort. We must pay full attention to those words in that Book of books, Bestseller of all times, that was written for our instruction in order that through the steadfastness and encouragement in the scriptures we may have hope. False teachers do bring false hope and might even take away the opportunity to enter the Kingdom of God, because you going in against the Will of God.

From the early gatherings of the followers of Christ we can see that observance of the unscriptural Jewish traditions amounted to a “fruitless form of conduct” that Jewish persons had ‘received by tradition from their forefathers [Gr., pa·tro·pa·ra·doʹtou, “given along from fathers”].’

1Pe 1:18 18 For you know that it was not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, that you were set free*+ from your futile way of life handed down to you by your forefathers.*

The “things given aside” (The Greek word pa·raʹdo·sis means, literally, “a thing given beside”) and hence “that which is transmitted by word of mouth or in writing.” (1Co 11:2, Int) we should be very careful with and always compare it with what is written in the Bible. The word paradosis as used in the Christian Greek Scriptures is applied to traditions that were proper or acceptable aspects of true worship, as well as to those that were in error or were followed or viewed in a way that made them harmful and objectionable. the false teachers are those who present such sayings which are in error with the bible, God’s Word.

Several Jews, upon becoming Christians, abandoned many false Jewish traditions. When some false teachers in Colossae urged taking up that form of worship, Paul warned against “the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men.” Though evidently he meant, especially, the traditions of Judaism (Col 2:8, 13-17) we also can transpose it to the Celtic and Germanic traditions which were integrated by the false church, first the Catholic Church and later also not abandoned by many protestant churches.

Viewing tradition in the sense of guidelines handed down orally or by example, the information that the apostle Paul received directly from Jesus could properly be passed on to the Christian congregations as acceptable Christian tradition. This was so, for example, regarding the celebration of the Lord’s Evening Meal. (1Co 11:2, 23) The teachings and example set by the apostles constituted valid tradition. Thus, Paul, who had personally toiled with his hands so as not to be a financial burden on his brothers (Ac 18:3; 20:34; 1Co 9:15; 1Th 2:9), could urge the Thessalonian Christians

“to withdraw from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the tradition [pa·raʹdo·sin]” they had received. One who would not work was plainly not following the fine example or tradition of the apostles. (2Th 3:6-11).

Each of us shall have to decide fro himself or herself in which way he or she wants to follow human teachings and human traditions or the Word and the Will of God. Those who want to call themselves Christian should know that God’s Word should come in the first place. all should also know that when one chooses to follow human doctrines, like the one of the Trinity a.o., it shall be decisive for what happens with that person. We always should remember

Mark 7:7-8: It is in vain that they keep worshipping me, for they teach commands of men as doctrines.’+ You let go of the commandment of God and cling to the tradition of men.”+

Isaiah 29:13: 13 Jehovah says: “This people approaches me with their mouth, And they honor me with their lips,+ But their heart is far removed from me; And their fear of me is based on commands of men that they have been taught.+

Following false teachers shall not bring us far. Just the other way around, it shall bring us on the wrong track, further away from the entrance to the Kingdom of God.

The truth is that Jehovah will soon change things on the earth, and we must show by the way we live that we really believe that there is Only One True God above all gods and that He had sent His only begotten son, who did not do his own will (which he would have done when he – Jesus -would be God) and gave his body as a ransom for our sins to liberate us from the enslavement of sin and the curse of death. In that son of man we should find our hope, because God authorised him to be a high priest for God and a mediator between God and man. We may be looking forward to the time this man of flesh and blood, who was taken up in heaven to sit next to God, shall come back to the earth to judge the living and the dead. Make sure that you are ready for that time.

Matthew 24:44: 44 On this account, you too prove yourselves ready,+ because the Son of man is coming at an hour that you do not think to be it.

Mark 13:35: 35 Keep on the watch, therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming,+ whether late in the day or at midnight or before dawn* or early in the morning,+

Make sure you prove yourself ready by being alert, always on the lookout,

Mark 13:33: 33 Keep looking, keep awake,+ for you do not know when the appointed time is.+

Romans 13:11 : 11 And do this because you know the season, that it is already the hour for you to awake from sleep,+ for now our salvation is nearer than at the time when we became believers.

1 Thessalonians 5:6: So, then, let us not sleep on as the rest do,+ but let us stay awake+ and keep our senses.+

*

Footnote:

  • The book of Tobit, or Tobias, which some people think is part of the Bible, is an example of the false stories that existed in Paul’s time. It was written about the third century before Christ. This book is full of false beliefs and stories of magic. It tells impossible stories but says that they are true.

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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

Matthew 7:15-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #2 False prophets and fruitage

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #3 Matthew 7:21-23 The ones Jesus never knew

Position and power The early days of Christianity

False teachers and false prophets still around

Good or bad preacher

Teachings, prophets, wolves in sheep’s covering and a narrow gate

2015 the year of ISIS

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Additional reading

  1. Warning
  2. Should We Love The Ungodly?
  3. Beware of Counterfeit Catholicism
  4. The beginning of false religion
  5. High-living North Carolina ‘prosperity gospel’ pastor indicted for bilking church in massive tax fraud scam
  6. Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists
  7. Lord in place of the divine name
  8. Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty God
  9. Relapse plan
  10. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  11. Halloween custom of the nations
  12. Christmas in Ancient Rome (AKA Saturnalia)
  13. Great things, Voice of God and terrors
  14. Satan the evil within

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Further related posts

  1. My experience today with detecting cults / false churches
  2. The Warlord Of Religion 
  3. True and false religion
  4. It’s Never been about Religion!
  5. Cookie a day: Topic-Man-Made Tradition
  6. “Westboro Baptist Church cheers on Hurricane Irma via Twitter”
  7. Calvinism & Christianity
  8. If God spoke to us audibly
  9. Why Are there So Many “Gods” & Religions?
  10. Know God in a Year #191 Religion Gone Bad
  11. Church History is good to know
  12. Confounding the Idols: A Rebuke of the Impotency of the Modern Church
  13. What Is A False Prophet?
  14. “Cain,Tubal Cain, Mystery Babylon & The Image of the Beast”
  15. Confident Evangelism: Roman Catholicism
  16. What makes a false religion, false?
  17. Babylon Is Fallen
  18. The Danger Of Hyper-Grace

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Matthew 2:7-12 – Pawns of Herod, the Magi Find the ‘Child’

Matthew 2:7-12 – Pawns of Herod, the Magi Find the ‘Child’

MT2:7 Then Herod secretly called the magi and carefully ascertained from them the time[1] of the star’s appearing,[2] MT2:8 and sending them off to Bethlehem he told them: “Go your way and make a careful search for the young child[3] so you may report back to me so I can also[4] go and prostrate myself to the child.” MT2:9 But, having heard the king these [magi] went their way, and, look! the star[5] which they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stood right above where the young child was. MT2:10 Seeing the star they rejoiced with a great deal of joy. MT2:11 And when they went into the house[6] they say the young child with his mother Mary. They fell down and prostrated themselves on the ground before the child. They opened the treasures[7] they brought and presented the gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.[8] MT2:12 However, the magi were given a divine warning in a dream[9] not to return to Herod, so they withdrew by another route to their own country.

 

[1] The time: This is no longer the time of the birth but about two years later. It is unlikely these Persian magicians time matters to be present at the birth in the manger. Rather, something else has led them on their long journey from the east. The classic image of the angels, shepherds, and wise men is mistaken. Apparently the timing of the observation of this “star” was two years before.

[2] The star’s appearing: Of great interest to astrologers and seemingly Herod believes in astrology. He has determined the place (Bethlehem) and now he knows the rough age. His plot grows more and more evil. Revelation 12:4 reveals the Satanic plot to devour the Christ Child upon his birth. This Satan does throughout the life of Jesus, including his death.

King's College Chapel, Cambridge

King’s College Chapel, Cambridge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[3] The young child: This is no longer a newborn baby but rather according to the Greek a PAIDIOU, or young boy. By this time surely the little Jesus is walking and forming words.

[4] So I can also: Herod is lying. His agenda is murderous as events will show.

[5] Star: Note evidently this star now reappears. It is possible they have not seen this “star” for two years and thus the considerable joy on their part. Now it “appears” again and moves with them – it is not a comet, asteroid, or meteorite. It is highly unlike it is a super nova. The identity of this “star” is discussed in the notes on Matthew 2:2.

[6] House: Note it is not a “manger” but a house. The family has moved and possibly lived here for about two years.

[7] Treasures: The value is not stated, however, we may assume it was considerable and no doubt later is used in the trip to Egypt and life there.

[8] Frankincense, and myrrh: “Frankincense” is an African incense with a pleasurable odor. “Myrrh” was one of the ingredients in the priestly anointing oil. Jesus is offered wine drugged with myrrh at his execution so the incense appears in both his birth and death, including his burial (John 19:39, 40).

[9] Dream: RHM: instructed by dream; BAS: made clear to them. We see dreams are a divine instrument, and they occur in several contexts here in the opening chapters of Matthew.

Mark Heber Miller 21st Century Version of the Christian Scriptures [NCMM] or Nazarene Commentary, 2000©

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Preceding articles:

  1. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  2. Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament
  3. Nazarene Commentary to Zechariah and Elizabeth
  4. Nazarene Commentary to An Angel Appearing to a Priest
  5. Nazarene Commentary to Struck Dumb For Disbelief
  6. Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant
  7. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:46-56 – Mary Magnifies God
  8. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:57-66 – Elizabeth Gives Birth To John
  9. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah’s Prophecy
  10. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  11. Matthew 1:1-17 The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
  12. Matthew 1:18-25 – Genesis of Jesus Christ
  13. Matthew 2:1-6 – Astrologers and Priests in a Satanic Plot
  14. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night
  15. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ
  16. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:21-24 – Presenting the Baby to God
  17. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning
  18. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting
  19. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:39-40 – The Young Child Grows
  20. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:41-50 – Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple

Upcoming articles:

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Early life of Christ in the Bowyer Bible print...

Early life of Christ in the Bowyer Bible print 8 of 21. adoration of Jesus by the Magi. Vos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

  • Jesus or Herod? (mydelightandmycounsellors.wordpress.com)
    In Matthew’s second chapter, we see that Jesus’ birth creates a conflict about who is King. It was in the time period of the reign of Herod the Great. Herod endowed his realm with massive fortresses and splendid cities, as well as a new Temple.
  • Matthew 02:01-23, “Responses to the Newborn King” (ezracommentary.wordpress.com)
    • No guns signaled his birth.
    • No decorations were put up in Jerusalem
    • No commemorative coins were issued.
      +
      Rome had appointed Herod king in 37 B.C. But the wise men had spoken of a supernatural star that had announced the birth of a king. Notice that they asked, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?” They were not talking about someone who would be appointed king at some point in history. They were talking about one who was born king, one who by His very nature is King. The Bible calls Him King of kings and Lord of lords. He is not nominated or appointed. He is not elected and he cannot be voted out of office. His kingship does not depend on your vote. He does not become king by some parliamentary procedure, and he cannot be removed from office by a motion of no-confidence. Jesus was born King. It is his nature to rule. Look at the prophecy of Micah again in v. 5-6,
  • The Virgin Shall Conceive And Bear A Son (todaysanewday.wordpress.com)
    Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
  • Birth of Jesus in Bethlehem (dailytwocents.com)
    They arrived at the house where the star stood shining above,praised and worshiped then presented gifts to the child.They then went their way, never to return to Herod.
  • Preparing for Christmas 2 – They followed a Star… (fortyandfantastique.wordpress.com)
    After so long without a prophet, and so many prophecies yet to be fulfilled, the Jewish people had to have been yearning for something to happen! But, as we learn in Matthew 2, it wasn’t just the Jews who noticed!
    +
    it must have taken some time for the Magi to travel from the East (some commentators speculate that they came from Persia) to see Jesus. Matt 2:11 states that the Magi came to a “house” not a manger.  According to the Jewish laws, a woman had a period of 40 days of confinement after giving birth to a male child (Leviticus 12:1-8) and then she was to take an offering to the temple. Luke 2:21-22 says that Mary and Joseph went to the temple to do this, so they had to have remained in Bethlehem at least that long. They departed for Egypt to escape Herod’s wrath sometime after this forty days and also after the visit of the Magi, as recorded in Luke, but before Jesus was 2 years old, because based on the Magi’s calculations, Herod killed all the male children 2 years old and younger, in order to be “sure” to eliminate Jesus as the “King” of the Jews. So Jesus was older than 40 days and younger than 2 years when the Magi visited Him.
  • The day the Star stopped: Understanding Christmas (commdiginews.com)

    Christian historian Sextus Julius Africanus (ca. A.D. 180 – ca. A.D. 250) is said to have been the first to claim that Jesus was born on the 25th of December. It turns out that Africanus might have had Jesus’ birthday confused with another prominent event in His life – the visit of the Magi, scholars and astronomers from Babylon who likely were intellectual descendents of the prophet Daniel.

    How could following a star lead somebody to the location of the Christ child? In order to understand the star-gazing journey memorialized in Christmas songs and fashion, we have to once again look to the Old Testament.

    The purpose of stars, planets, etc. was mentioned in the beginning – “for signs and for seasons and for days and years” (Genesis 1:14). The Scriptures say that the stars and constellations were named by the creator Yahweh, not by mankind (see Job 9, Isaiah 40:26, and Amos 8) – although different cultures ascribe a variety of stories to these preformed patterns in the sky.

  • Jesus, Our Precious Gift: An Interactive Christmas Drama 2014 (amberdover.wordpress.com)
    I wrote a nativity play for our homeschool group. I also had an Advent craft and goodies for the kiddos.
  • God’s Will (genesisone.wordpress.com)
    The prophecy was that the promised Messiah would come from Bethlehem, in Judea. This was affirmed by the religious leaders to Herod.
  • One Thing’s Perfect (josephelonlillie.com)
    Christmases are never the same. They change from year to year, and they are never really perfect, no matter how hard we try to force them to be so
  • Finally, the night has come~by rldubour (ourpoetrycorner.wordpress.com)
    In your thoughts you know the true meaning.The star of David and why the three wisemenCome seeing.A child was born in a manger that night.

    The Son of God to show us the light.

Matthew 2:1-6 – Astrologers and Priests in a Satanic Plot

Chapter Two: The Birth Of Jesus Christ And The First Two Years

Matthew 2:1-6 – Astrologers and Priests in a Satanic Plot

MT2:1 Now Jesus was generated[1] in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of[2] King Herod.[3] Look! magi[4] from the east came into Jerusalem, MT2:2 asking, “Where is the one born king of the Jews? For we saw his star[5] in the east and we came to prostrate[6] before him.” MT2:3 But hearing this King Herod,[7] and all of Jerusalem[8] with him, were agitated, MT2:4 and gathering the peoples’ chief priests[9] and scribes[10] he inquired of them where the Christ was to be generated. MT2:5 The [religious hierarchy] told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea – just as it has been written by the prophet [Micah]:[11] MT2:6 ‘And you, Bethlehem [of the] land of Judah, are by no means the least among the governors of Judah. For out of you will come forth a Governor[12] who will shepherd My[13] people Israel.’” [Micah 5:2]

 

[1] Generated: Or, born.

[2] In the days of: The birth is precisely related to a then ruling king, Herod. Compare the precision of Luke 3:1, 2. This is an historical event.

Agrippa I also called the Great (10 BC - 44 AD...

Agrippa I also called the Great (10 BC – 44 AD), King of the Jews, was the grandson of Herod the Great, and son of Aristobulus IV and Berenice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[3] Herod: What we know about Herod is from the first century Jewish historian Josephus. “Herod” is really the designation of a royal house. These were semi-Jews from Edom, ancient enemies of the Israelites. (The Jewish War, I, 429, 430 [xxi, 13]; I, 656 [xxxiii, 5]; Jewish Antiquities, XIV, 168-176 [ix, 4]; XV, 395, 396 [xi, 3]; XV, 421 [xi, 6]; XV, 380 [xi, 1]; XV, 334, 335 [ix, 6]; XIV, 487, 488 [xvi, 4]; XVII, 190, 191 [viii, 1]; XVII, 167 [vi, 4]; 213 [ix, 3]; XVII, 148 [vi, 1]; XIV, 158 [ix, 2])

[4] Magi: From which comes “magi(c).” Or, Persian astrologers. The Latin magos occurs first at Leviticus 19:31 where the LXX has “ventriloquists.” Compare 1 Samuel 28:3; Isaiah 47:13; Daniel 2:27; 4:7; 5:7, 11. These astrologers were those “who, from the position of the stars at the hour of birth, by various arts of computation and divining… determined the fate of individuals.” (Gesenius’s Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, translated by S. P. Tregelles, 1901, pp. 166, 167)

[5] Star: Is it possible this “star” is related to the one described at Isaiah 14:13 (compare Job 38:7) and 2 Corinthians 11:14, 15? (Revelation 9:1)

[6] Prostrate: The Greek is PROS-KYNESAI (bow before + kiss) and means a bowing to the ground and generally kissing the fringe of a garment or feet. Or, KJV: worship; RH: bow down; TCNT: do homage.

[7] Herod: The idea of another king of the Jews – which was what Herod was – was fraught with suspicion. The Romans would look with great disfavor on such an idea.

[8] All of Jerusalem: The news is widespread and there is a general agitation over the idea.

[9] Chief priests: The Greek is ARCHIEREIS and likely the source of the English “hierarchy.” This class of Jews is to appear 65 times.

[10] Scribes: The Greek is GRAMMATEIS; or, grammarians, writers; those who copied the Holy Scriptures. The group is to occur 54 times. Many later become Christians.

[11] Written by the prophet [Micah]: The prophet is Micah (Micah 5:2). Matthew is to use the word most often with Luke second.

[12] Governor: Or, BECK: a leader; WEY: prince; MON: ruler. This is understood to be the Messiah, foretold King of the Jews.

[13] My: That is, Yahweh. It is clear the future Governor or Ruler is not Yahweh but the Messiah. They are two different persons.

Mark Heber Miller 21st Century Version of the Christian Scriptures [NCMM] or Nazarene Commentary, 2000©

*

BS note:

Iesou => Jesus = “Hail Zeus”, the name given to the Nazarene Jew at the Council of Nicaea in 325 to come to terms with the three-headed greek-roman gods. Up until about 360, theological debates mainly dealt with the divinity of the son, which had to be the seame one as the son-god of the Romans and the Greeks. The worshipping of that son and the use of the statues in the community should be allowed for all the sorts of worshippers, so that the market vendors could sell their statues at liberty to any worshipper. Jeshua, Joshua (/ˈɒʃə/) or Jehoshua (Hebrew: יְהוֹשֻׁעַ Yĕhôshúa or Hebrew: יֵשׁוּעַ Yĕshúa; Aramaic: ܝܫܘܥIsho; Greek: Ἰησοῦς, Arabic: يوشع بن نونYūshaʿ ibn Nūn, Turkish: Yuşa) Yeshua (ישוע, with vowel pointing יֵשׁוּעַyēšūă‘ in Hebrew) which means “Jehovah saves/Jehovah is salvation” or “the Help(ipa) from Jehovah” or “From Jehovah comes salvation”, for the politicians had to become the second person of their tri-une godhead.  The main god Zeus (Ancient Greek: Ζεύς) had to be the “Father of Gods and men” (πατὴρ ἀνδρῶν τε θεῶν τε, patḕr andrōn te theōn te) and as such should be the god of Greeks, Romans and Christians because Jupiter (Latin: Iuppiter; /ˈjʊpɪtɛr/; genitive case: Iovis; /ˈjɔːvɪs/) or Jove is the king of the gods and the god of sky and thunder in myth.

By the time of the 4° Century CE lots of false teachers had managed to introduce the Roman teachings of their gods back into the teachings of their followers. Lots of people found it easier to adapt to the new religion because it had adapted itself to their faith. for them it was than much easier to accept Jesus to be the King of kings, to be the god of light, the god of thunder, the god of miracles, the god of enlightenment, etc.

Note 2 on publication day December 25:

Today many celebrate Christmas as a reminder, as C. S. Lewis put it, “that the rightful King has landed and has invited us to take part in his campaign of sabotage against all the powers of the world that seek to lie to us and to destroy all that is good and beautiful in the world.” Though the Christmas celebration have a pagan origin and are months away from the real birthday of Jeshua, the Nazarene Jew who we consider to be the promised Messiah, born 17 October 4 BCE. It was that man, born at the time of Herod the Great and the Big falling Star, born in un-kingly conditions (in full simplicity), who later entered Jerusalem on a donkey (a colt) as a sing of kingship, a few days later to be killed on a wooden stake with the sign on top of him marking him as the”King of the Jews”.

Christians should be more aware of the civil historical facts, who was ruling when and which orders were decreed (Like the week of the consensus, the days of the slaughtering of young children, etc.).

HerodtheGreat2.jpg

Herod the Great (74/73 BCE – 4 BCE), Roman client king of Judea

Herod born around 74 BCE in Idumea, south of Judea, had been apointed governor of Galilee at 25, and his elder brother, Phasael, governor of Jerusalem, by his father Antipater the Idumaean. He had captured Jerusalem and executed Antigonus. Herod took the role as sole ruler of Judea and the title of basileus (Βασιλεύς, “king”) for himself, ushering in the Herodian Dynasty and ending the Hasmonean Dynasty. He was granted the title of “King of Judea” by the Roman Senate, and took on an authoritarian attitude, having a secret police to keep everything under control.

Herod was responsible for the construction of the palace of Masada and the rebuilding of the temple on Temple Mount, a portion of which remains today as the Western Wall and re-established the Sanhedrin. In addition, Herod also built the harbour at Caesarea.

In the attempt to destroy the infant Jesus children of Bethlehem “from two years old and under,” were killed by his order. The Innocents have been venerated in the Christian Church as martyrs since ancient times. In the Eastern Church they are known as the Holy Children. The remembrance of this Infanticide in Bethlehem, venerated in the Christian Church as martyrs since ancient times, are known in the Eastern Church as the Holy Children, , in Belgium known as “Onnozele kinderen” (Innocent children) is celebrated on Holy Innocents’ Day, December 28, in England known as Holy Innocents formerly remembered on Childermas, celebrated in Spain and parts of Latin America in a similar way to April Fools’ Day.

Herod the Great divided his kingdom among his sons Archelaus, Herod Antipas, and Philip. Archelaus (d. after 6 CE) ruled Palestine south of the Vale of Jezreel from 4 BCE to 6 CE; he was removed by Augustus after complaints by the Jews. Herod Antipas (d. after 39 CE), tetrarch of Galilee (4 BCE–39 CE) and Peraea, repudiated his wife, daughter of Aretas, to marry his niece Herodias, wife of his half-brother Herod Philip, whom she divorced to marry Herod Antipas and was the Herod who executed John the Baptist and who was ruling at the time of Jesus’ death.

Herod the Great disregarded many of the demands the Pharisees for the construction of the temple, which caught their anger. Simultaneously, the Sadducees, who were known for their priestly responsibilities in the Temple, were opposed to Herod because he replaced the high priests with priests from Babylonia and Alexandria (in an attempt to gain support from Jews in the diaspora).

At the end of Herod’s reign, anger and dissatisfaction were common feelings amongst the Jews. Heavy outbreaks of violence (such as riots) followed Herod’s death (4 BCE), in many cities including Jerusalem. All the grievances the Jews had toward Herod’s actions during his reign, such as heavy taxes and violating the rules, built up during the years before he died. Because of the treatment the Jews were receiving, they were ready to break free from Roman Rule. Herod’s leadership sparked such anger, that eventually it became one of the causes driving the Great Revolt of 70 C.E.

The Division of Herod’s Kingdom:

Light green Tetrarchy (Judea) under Herod Archelaus,

Mauve Territory under Herod Antipas

Orange Territory under Herod Philip II

Grey Salome I (cities of Jabneh, Azotas, Phaesalis)

Dark green Roman province of Syria

Yelow Autonomous cities (Decapolis)

There’s no pre-birth travel involved for Joseph and Mary, and indeed the elaborate story of Archelaus’ rule over Judaea is later told to explain why the couple went to Nazareth. Joseph heard that Archelaus ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea (biblical Edom) from 4 BC to 6 CE, the son of Herod the Great and Malthace the Samaritan, the brother of Herod Antipas, and the half-brother of Herod Philip I had come to power after the death of his father, Herod the Great.

Herod Archelaus from Guillaume Rouillé’s Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum (16th century depiction)

Archelaus appeared to be kind to the populace in Jerusalem in order to appease their desires for lower taxes and an end to the (political) imprisonment of Herod’s enemies. Archelaus acted in every manner a King, before such title had been given by Caesar. He thought of himself highly and is said to have committed suicide after being banished. Archelaus received the Tetrarchy of Judea last will of his father, though a previous will had bequeathed it to his brother Antipas. He was proclaimed king by the army, but declined to assume the title until he had submitted his claims to Caesar Augustus in Rome. In Rome he was opposed by Antipas and by many of the Jews, who feared his cruelty, based on the murder of 3000; but in 4 BCE Augustus allotted to him the greater part of the kingdom (Samaria, Judea, and Idumea) with the title of ethnarch (not king).

Archelaus held, in honour of Zeus, nine days of games in Dion, a small Macedonian village on the slopes of Mount Olympus. Mount Olympus, in Greek mythology, was the home of the gods. While Archelaus’ games were not the famed Olympics, they are an example of the value the ancient Greeks placed on the connections between body, mind and spirit.

Dynasty of herod

Dynasty of herod (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Categorie:Afbeelding stamboom Categorie:Afbeel...

Vrouwen en kinderen van Herodes de Grote) – Women and children of Herod the great (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles:

  1. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  2. Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament
  3. Nazarene Commentary to Zechariah and Elizabeth
  4. Nazarene Commentary to An Angel Appearing to a Priest
  5. Nazarene Commentary to Struck Dumb For Disbelief
  6. Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant
  7. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:46-56 – Mary Magnifies God
  8. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:57-66 – Elizabeth Gives Birth To John
  9. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah’s Prophecy
  10. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  11. Matthew 1:1-17 The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
  12. Matthew 1:18-25 – Genesis of Jesus Christ
  13. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night
  14. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ
  15. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:21-24 – Presenting the Baby to God
  16. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning
  17. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting
  18. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:39-40 – The Young Child Grows
  19. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:41-50 – Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple

Upcoming articles:

 

++

Find also to read:

  1. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  2. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  3. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  4. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  5. Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
  6. The wrong hero
  7. Why think that (2) … Jesus claimed to be something special
  8. A season of gifts
  9. God’s Special Gift
  10. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  11. Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights
  12. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  13. Around pre-existence of Christ
  14. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  15. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  16. Jesus and his God

+++

  • The Gift of Grace (amokarts.wordpress.com)
    My friend Brenda Hendricks just posted a wonderful video on the gife of grace we receive in Christ. It shows some of the great moments in the life of Jesus and it is quite beautifully done.
  • For the Fourth Sunday of Advent (oneragamuffin.wordpress.com)
    So many things distract us from Jesus, so many ads for new products that they say we need, so many news stories that are mostly depressing and tragic. There’s so much noise that keeps us from hearing the silence of the silent night.
  • Saturday Morning Devotional Prayer and Praise Service “Birth of Jesus Christ” (vineandbranchworldministries.com)
    Today, we present to you one of the most Incredible Christmas Story ever told.  It was told to us by Luke, “a Disciple of Jesus Christ,” with no trees or lights, just a manger and animals and a too-crowded inn.  It isn’t surprising that there was no room for them in the village inn considering the number of travelers flocking to various cities during the time of this census.
  • Good Things (mydelightandmycounsellors.wordpress.com)
    God uses His Word to encourage our hearts with the blessings that we have through His Son Jesus Christ.  He tells us in Philemon that knowledge of the good things we have in Christ Jesus empowers us to share our faith effectively.
  • Jesus Christ (en.memory-alpha.org)
    According to the [[Bible]], ”’Jesus Christ”’ was the son of [[God]] born to a virgin named [[Mary]]. The teachings of Christ, a philosophy of total love and total brotherhood, would become the foundation for the [[Christianity|Christian]] [[religion|faith]].
  • Wednesday, December 17, 2014 (heartfixxer.wordpress.com)
    Throughout the Old Testament we see Jesus Christ foretold of. It speaks to our all-knowing God and his love for mankind. Jesus wasn’t a second thought, he was in God’s plan the whole time. God’s gift to us is His overwhelming love.
  • The Wise Men and the Celebration of Christmas (divinehealingword.wordpress.com)
    People are too busy with other things while forgetting the real reason of celebrating Christmas.  In our daily lives, we have all our reason just to excuse ourselves in encountering God.  You don’t have to travel thousand miles to meet God, you just have to exert effort.
  • Forget Santa Claus, Virginia. Was there a Jesus Christ? (religionnews.com)
    As another Christmas approaches and the usual holiday laments are unpacked like so many old ornaments — too much commercialism and too little faith, too much food and too little time — there has always been one reassuring constant: The reason for the season is the birth of Jesus some 2,000 years ago.
    +
    Lataster is the author of “There Was No Jesus, There Is No God,” one of a growing number of books and blog posts by Jesus “mythicists” who question the very existence of the man from Galilee.
    +
    Believers and skeptics can argue with each other, and among themselves, about exactly who Jesus was and what he meant, Ehrman said in an interview. But arguing that Jesus did not exist “is such a ridiculous proposition.”Ehrman said beyond the non-Christian references to Jesus from the era, scholars can plausibly trace elements in the Gospels to shortly after the time Jesus was killed. That fact, and the historical details in the Gospels, have convinced “virtually every scholar … in the Western world” that Jesus existed.
  • He comes in the most unexpected ways (donkeywhispererfarm2010.wordpress.com)
    Nobody every expected Jesusto be born in a manger. Nor was riding on a donkey worth calling a triumphal royal entry into Jerusalem.The leading interpreters were completely blindsided by the appearance of the Messiah — partly because their envy blinded them, but also because they interpreted erroneously.
  • Fourth Week of Advent (str.typepad.com)
    Over 400 years before Jesus, Zechariah foretold how God would one day come and live with men. “‘Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you’” (Zechariah 2:10-11). 

Matthew 1:18-25 – Genesis of Jesus Christ

Matthew 1:18-25 – The Genesis of Jesus Christ

MT1:18 But thus was the genesis[1] of Jesus Christ.[2] His mother Mary had been promised in marriage[3] to Joseph. Before they came together[4] she was found to be pregnant[5] from the holy Pneuma.[6] MT1:19 But, Joseph her man[7] was righteous[8] and he was unwilling to make a public spectacle[9] of Mary so he intended to release her secretly.[10] MT1:20 But, thinking about these matters, look! an angel[11] of YHWH[12] appeared to Joseph in a dream,[13] saying: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to receive to yourself[14] Mary your woman, for the thing generated[15] by Pneuma in her is holy. MT1:21 She will give birth to a son and you[16] [Joseph] will call his name ‘Jesus’ for he will save[17] his people[18] from their sins.”[19] MT1:22 The whole of this happened so that the things might be fulfilled as spoken through the prophet [Isaiah],[20] saying, MT1:23 “Look! The virgin[21] will be pregnant and will give birth to a son and they[22] will call his name ‘Immanuel’[23] which is translated to mean, ‘With Us The God.’” [Isaiah 7:14] MT1:24 When Joseph awakened from sleep he did as directed by the angel of YHWH and he took along his woman [to his home]; MT1:25 and Joseph did not know[24] Mary until after she gave birth to a son.[25] Joseph called his name ‘Jesus.’

 

[1] Genesis: The Greek is GENESIS and may be rendered “birth.”

[2] Jesus Christ: The first occurrence of this form: the title or designation combined with the name of our Lord. This form occurs 150 times in the Christian Bible, the most often in the Letter to the Romans. The phrase means “Jesus the christened one; or Jesus the Messiah; Jesus the Anointed.”

[3] Promised in marriage: Or, KJV: espoused; TCNT: engaged.

[4] Came together: Inferring sexual intercourse. TCNT: while she was still a virgin; WEY: before they were united in marriage.

[5] Pregnant: The Greek GASTRI and means literally “found in belly” as it is in many languages. Or, KJV: with child; GDSP: about to become a mother.

[6] Holy Pneuma: Or, holy spirit. This is the first occurrence of the phrase referring to the Mental or Intellectual Power of the Absolute God. That is, the invisible force or pressure by which the Creator accomplishes his will and purpose. We will use pneuma throughout as the word “spirit” in English has taken on something of the meaning of “ghost” or a spirit being. The complete phrase “holy pneuma” occurs 100 times in the Bible with the first occurrence at Psalm 51:11. It only occurs three times in the Hebrew Bible. It is most often used in the Acts of the Apostles. For details on this subject see the publication De Trinitatis Erroribus. The word “spirit” occurs 820 times in the Bible with the first occurrence at Genesis 1:2. “Spirit” is used most often in the Book of Acts. The Hebrew is ruach and is variously rendered breath and wind.

[7] Man: The Greek is ANER and may mean “husband.”

[8] Righteous: Or, “just.” He had a well-known reputation so that his character was such.

[9] Public spectacle: Or, KJV: public example; ABUV: not willing to expose.

[10] Release her secretly: Or, GDSP: break off the engagement privately; BECK: divorce her secretly. The Jewish engagement was considered a virtual marriage and thus required some formal divorce or release. It is likely their marriage was arranged by both families upon which the “engagement” began. Since this was a formal matter between families in public then a formal release was binding. Engaged couples could have sexual intercourse without this being viewed as prostitution (or, fornication). However, once doing so the man had to marry the woman, forgo divorce, and give her father a payment for damages to his virgin daughter.

[11] Angel: The first angel mentioned in the Christian Bible. The word “angel(s)” occurs 370 times in the Bible, the first at Genesis 16:7. “Angel” occurs most often in the Book of Acts. This angel is identified by Luke as Gabriel, the angel of the Book of Daniel.

[12] YHWH: The Greek is AGGELOS KYRIOU [without the article] and would surely be a Hebraism in Matthew’s Gospel. Though it should read “angel of (the) Lord” there is a reasonable possibility that the Tetragram YHWH might occur here. There is no question YHWH occurred in the Hebrew Bible and there is a possibility YHWH occurs in some portions of the Christian Bible. Hereafter we will add YHWH in brackets when the “Lord” under consideration is clearly Yahweh or Jehovah.

[13] Dream: The first occurrence of the word in the Christian Bible. The word group occurs 125 times with the first at Genesis 20:3 and most often in the Book of Genesis. There is an interesting statement at Job 7:14; 33:15.

[14] Receive to yourself: Or, NEB: to take Mary home. Note John 14:3 and the same Greek word.

[15] Generated: The Greek is GENNETHEN and is rendered: KJV: conceived; NOR: expect Child within.

[16] You: The Greek is singular referring specifically to Joseph.

[17] He will save: The meaning of “Jesus” is “Yahweh Saves.”

[18] His people: Note it is “his people” indicating some previous relationship with Israel as the “angel of Yahweh.” (Compare Daniel 12:1; Exodus 23:23)

[19] Sins: The key purpose of Messiah’s birth is as a Sin-Bearer (Consider Isaiah chapter 53). Nothing in the name Jesus emphasis any other reason than he will be the main instrument in the forgiveness of the sins of the Jews. Nothing here points to mankind in general. The interpretation of “his people” (TON LAON) could refer to those in the New Israel, the Community of the Saints.

[20] Spoken through the prophet [Isaiah]: That is Isaiah 7:14. NOTE: All true quotes are in BLUE. Hebraisms, paraphrases, allusions or conflates are in GREEN. The words of Jesus are in RED.

[21] Virgin: The Greek is PARTHENOS and reminds one of the Parthenon in Athens. The Greek word PARTHENOS is that one chosen by the Jewish scribes in the third century BC when translating the Hebrew of Isaiah 7:14.

[22] They: Indicating both Joseph and Mary.

[23] Immanuel: See Isaiah 8:8. Possibly one of the sons of Isaiah whose name was fulfilled in the context of Isaiah 8:10 where the Hebrew has the name in the phrase. The Jewish Greek Bible, the Septuagint (LXX), “Yehowah God is with us.”

[24] Did not know: Or, PME: had no intercourse with her. Compare Genesis 4:1 and compare the Greek language with 1 Corinthians 7:1. Mary remained a “virgin” until after the birth of Jesus when she bore four more sons and an unknown number of daughters (Matthew 12:46; 13:55).

[25] Son: KJV: “firstborn son.” (Compare Luke 2:7)

This text of the Gospel of Matthew is a new version, the 21st Century Version of the Christian Scriptures [NCMM], as an additional part of Nazarene Commentary 2000©. This rendering by Mark Heber Miller may be considered a literal version with limited paraphrase.

*

BS notes:

Iesou => Jesus = “Hail Zeus”, the name given to the Nazarene Jew at the Council of Nicaea in 325 to come to terms with the three-headed greek-roman gods. Up until about 360, theological debates mainly dealt with the divinity of the son, which had to be the seame one as the son-god of the Romans and the Greeks. The worshipping of that son and the use of the statues in the community should be allowed for all the sorts of worshippers, so that the market vendors could sell their statues at liberty to any worshipper. Jeshua, Joshua (/ˈɒʃə/) or Jehoshua (Hebrew: יְהוֹשֻׁעַ Yĕhôshúa or Hebrew: יֵשׁוּעַ Yĕshúa; Aramaic: ܝܫܘܥIsho; Greek: Ἰησοῦς, Arabic: يوشع بن نونYūshaʿ ibn Nūn, Turkish: Yuşa) Yeshua (ישוע, with vowel pointing יֵשׁוּעַyēšūă‘ in Hebrew) which means “Jehovah saves/Jehovah is salvation” or “the Help(ipa) from Jehovah” or “From Jehovah comes salvation”, for the politicians had to become the second person of their tri-une godhead.  The main god Zeus (Ancient Greek: Ζεύς) had to be the “Father of Gods and men” (πατὴρ ἀνδρῶν τε θεῶν τε, patḕr andrōn te theōn te) and as such should be the god of Greeks, Romans and Christians because Jupiter (Latin: Iuppiter; /ˈjʊpɪtɛr/; genitive case: Iovis; /ˈjɔːvɪs/) or Jove is the king of the gods and the god of sky and thunder in myth.

By the time of the 4° Century CE lots of false teachers had managed to introduce the Roman teachings of their gods back into the teachings of their followers. Lots of people found it easier to adapt to the new religion because it had adapted itself to their faith. for them it was than much easier to accept Jesus to be the King of kings, to be the god of light, the god of thunder, the god of miracles, the god of enlightenment, etc.

+

Preceding articles:

  1. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  2. Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament
  3. Nazarene Commentary to Zechariah and Elizabeth
  4. Nazarene Commentary to An Angel Appearing to a Priest
  5. Nazarene Commentary to Struck Dumb For Disbelief
  6. Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant
  7. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:46-56 – Mary Magnifies God
  8. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:57-66 – Elizabeth Gives Birth To John
  9. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah’s Prophecy
  10. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night
  11. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ
  12. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  13. Matthew 1:1-17 The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
  14. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:21-24 – Presenting the Baby to God
  15. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning
  16. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting
  17. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:39-40 – The Young Child Grows
  18. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:41-50 – Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple

Upcoming articles:

  1. Matthew 2:1-6 – Astrologers and Priests in a Satanic Plot
  2. Matthew 2:7-12 – Pawns of Herod, the Magi Find the ‘Child’
  3. Matthew 2:13-15 – Escaping the Slaughter by a Flight to Egypt
  4. Matthew 2:16-18 – Slaughter of the Innocents

 

English: Mother Mary with the Holy Child Jesus...

Mother Mary with the Holy Child Jesus Christ, Oil/canvas, 1913 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

++

Find also to read:

  1. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  2. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  3. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  4. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  5. Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
  6. The wrong hero
  7. Why think that (2) … Jesus claimed to be something special
  8. A season of gifts
  9. God’s Special Gift
  10. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  11. Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights
  12. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  13. Around pre-existence of Christ
  14. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  15. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  16. Jesus and his God

+++

  • The Theodotus Inscription (larryhurtado.wordpress.com)
    there were Greek-speaking Jews in Jerusalem in the time in view.  Note also the reference to the “synagogue of the freedmen” in Acts 6:9, who are portrayed as tackling Stephen, likely Jews manumitted from slavery in Diaspora locations who had relocated in Jerusalem.
  • Interpreting the story (poemsinseason.wordpress.com)
    Gospel writers Matthew and Luke
    are the approved suppliers
    of the raw materials
    from which we cobble together our Christmas stories;
    faith being the thread that seeks,
    gathers and ties the meaning.
  • Blessed And Holy Christmas To All (mylordmyfriend.com)
    The virgin birth of Jesus Christ is the most wonderful and vital fact to the truth of the Good News, which brings newness of life to all who accept.
  • Most Americans believe in the Virgin Birth – and that torture is cool (patheos.com)
    According to a new Pew Survey of over 1,500 U.S. adults, 73 percent say they believe Jesus was born to a virgin, and 74 percent say they believe Jesus’s birth was announced to the shepherds by an angel (among Protestant respondents, that rate is 91 percent and 90 percent, respectively). 78 percent of women say they believe in the virgin birth, 65 percent of the respondents said they believe all elements of the Christmas story are factually true.
  • Did the early church invent the divinity of Jesus over a long period of time? (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
    How early is the doctrine ofthe divinity of Jesus?When I answer this question, I only want to use the earliest, most reliable sources – so I can defend them on historical grounds using the standard rules of historiography.
  • Basic Living in Christ (fromthepreacherspc.org)
    In chapters 1-2, Paul has maintained that Christ is “all-sufficient” in matters of salvation and overcoming sin… Colossians 2:10
  • Family Night Out rocks – Church social signals start of Christmas season (jamaica-gleaner.com)
    In making reference to the book of Acts in the Bible, pastor of the church, Dwight Fletcher, told The Sunday Gleaner that fellowship is a God-given mandate. He pointed out that it is imperative the people of God build on the traditions of the early church, and added that he anticipates great things going forward.
  • Pastor J. D. Greear Takes on the Holy Spirit In “Jesus Continued…” (blackchristiannews.com)
    Pastor J.D.Greearmay be one of the most influential pastors you’ve never heard of. He’s not preaching prosperity on television or advising the President. He’s never made the “TIME 100″ or The New York Times bestsellers list. ButGreear has built a massive, multi-campusmegachurch amid the modest city of Raleigh, North Carolina, and he is quietly amassing influence among conservative evangelicals.The subtitle of his most recent book, “Jesus Continued…: Why the Spirit Inside of You is Better Than the Jesus Beside You,” caught my attention, and I decided to invite him to discuss the idea at “On Faith and Culture.” Here we discuss how he thinks some of his fellow Christians have misunderstood the Holy Spirit and how he hopes they’ll change.
  • Stormy Seas (alighttomyway.wordpress.com)
    My only hope is to stay in the boat, holding on to my Savior, riding out the storm together. In this account in the book of Acts, God didn’t calm the storm. But the people on board made it safely to shore. This tells me that my circumstances might not change. The cancer diagnosis might not be a mistake. A broken relationship might not heal. Whatever the cause of my anxiety, depression, fear, might not magically disappear.
  • Can God Get to You? (vincefrese.com)

With child and righteousness greater than the law

The last few weeks in many denominations they looked at a time of remembrance of the coming on earth of the Messiah. At the end of the month many Christians use the birthday of the goddess of light and creation, to celebrate the birth of Christ (who was born in 4 bCE October 17) This birth is the beginning of the New World whereof the evangelist John is talking about when he looks at that new period like at the beginning of everything new, or the Bereshith (Bereshit or Bereishit), the Genesis. In the Genesis book by Moses you may find God Speaking and by speaking or uttering His Word, everything came into being. In the same way spoke God and the child came into being.

“In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” (NWT) (John 1:1)

English: The story of the Eden Garden. The tem...

The story of the Eden Garden. The temptation of Adam & Eve by the devil. Pedestal of the statue of Madonna with Child, western portal (of the Virgin), of Notre-Dame de Paris, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Word, which was spoken before everything existed had also spoken in the Garden of Eden. That was a time long before Abraham. As such God His Word came unto the 1° Adam and promised to provide a solution for his misstep. Adam and Eve came to hear the first promise for their descendants. Later the Word of God would come to other offspring, who at their turn also told the world to look out for that Saviour or Messiah.

Not the evangelist John his work was placed first in the Books of the New Covenant. Matthew got the honour to open the New Testament. His account of the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1:18-25 has one primary concern: to establish the identity and mission of Jesus from the very beginning of his story. For the evangelist Matthew, who came to know the Nazarene Jeshua early in his public life, this special teacher no doubt is the Messiah or Christ (see Matthew 1:18), the agent of God who will establish God’s kingdom and save his people from their sins (see Matthew 1:21).

Lots of people do want to find a very special person and a very special story. Because they can not find that in the Bible they started creating several stories to make their evening of remembrance much greater.

"Annunciation", fresco (ca. 1371) by...

“Annunciation”, fresco (ca. 1371) by Jacopo di Cione (ca.1325-after 1390)(?), interior of the façade of the basilica of San Marco in Florence, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The evangelist Matthew brings a very human story involving a young couple: Joseph and Myriam or Miriam, by most English speaking people known as Mary (others know her as Maria, or Blessed Virgin Mary). Mary gets a message which may have been very strange for her and any other human being. The messenger of God, an angel pronounces that she has found great favour with God. We do find a simple village girl through whom God decides to work His plan of redemption.

“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,” (Luke 1:26 NIV)

“The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.” (Luke 1:28-29 NIV)

“And Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” (Luke 1:34 ASV)

From the evangelist and apostle Matthew we come to know she got to know the workman Joseph and also in Luke is written:

“to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.” (Luke 1:27 NIV)

“The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.”” (Luke 1:28 NIV)

“18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.” (Matthew 1:18-19 NIV)

Matthew grounds his lofty message about Jesus’ identity and mission as the Christ in the earthiness and complexities of human life. It doesn’t get much earthier than a pregnancy out of wedlock; put that together with the fact that the young couple had not yet had sex and you have the makings of a real potboiler. This young girl could be killed for what she got herself into. Regardless of the cost to her societally, she is willing to submit to God’s will for her life. For her the wrath of the Law and the weight of the village’s condemnation have no value opposite the message she got from a celestial being. Though she did not get stoned because most rabbis required a lesser penalty, including divorce and public shaming. The public shaming may have come over the fiancée of labourer Joseph who was still willing to take her as her bride.

Matthew portrays Joseph as a righteous man who confronted a significant dilemma. Him at first in love with this young Essene girl, had to face a very devote Jew who seemed to have been unfaithful to him. Most people usually understand the description of Joseph as “righteous” to mean that he was a good man, a kind man. But Joseph’s “righteousness” in this context has a specific meaning: it refers to Joseph’s thorough adherence to the law, the Torah. Joseph was also a devout, practising Jew. His decision to divorce Mary was the right one according to the law.

Matthew tells us that while Joseph had decided to sever his relationship with Mary, in accordance with the law and the custom of his time, he had decided to do this so “quietly,” evidently to reduce Mary’s public disgrace. Joseph had found a way to be faithful to the requirements of the law, but to do so in a respectful and sensitive manner. Joseph struck a remarkable balance between righteousness and compassion.

In the Torah were given many examples of how strange God’s ways might be for man. More than once appeared celestial beings to man to turn their coarse. This disappointed workman also came to hear an angel of God in a dream. Believing in the truth of his dream he abandoned adherence to the law by accepting the angel’s exhortation to take Mary as his wife. In this extraordinary situation, Joseph’s righteousness transcended the letter of the law. For Joseph, being righteous no longer meant blind, literal adherence to the Torah; the instruction from the angel trumped the law. The imminent arrival of Jesus somehow transformed the righteousness expected of Joseph. This is a theme that Jesus would articulate again and again later in this Gospel: there is a righteousness greater than the law.

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Preceding articles:

Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament

Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:26-38 – Gabriel’s Appearance to Mary

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ

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Literature of interest:

  1. With God All Things Are Possible
  2. Message from the family tree in the Tanakh
  3. Why do we need a ransom?
  4. A promise given in the Garden of Eden
  5. The Seed Of The Woman Bruised
  6. Written to recognise the Promissed One
  7. OT prophesies and the NT fulfilment of them
  8. Prophets making excuses
  9. Belief of the things that God has promised
  10. About a man who changed history of humankind
  11. Which man is mentioned most often in the Bible? Jesus, Moses, Abraham or David?
  12. Together tasting a great promise
  13. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  14. The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity
  15. Virgin Mary’s girdle
  16. The Gabriel Revelation Real or forgery
  17. Who was Jesus?
  18. Jesus and his God
  19. The Christ, the anointed of God
  20. Around pre-existence of Christ
  21. A season of gifts
  22. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  23. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  24. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  25. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  26. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  27. Jesus begotten Son of God #4 Promised Prophet and Saviour
  28. Jesus begotten Son of God #5 Apostle, High Priest and King
  29. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  30. Jesus begotten Son of God #7 A matter of the Future
  31. Jesus begotten Son of God #8 Found Divinely Created not Incarnated
  32. Jesus begotten Son of God #9 Two millennia ago conceived or begotten
  33. Jesus begotten Son of God #13 Pre-existence excluding virginal birth of the Only One Transposed
  34. Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
  35. Jesus begotten Son of God #15 Son of God Originating in Mary
  36. Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
  37. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  38. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #14 Prayer #12 The other name
  39. God has visited His people
  40. Jesus spitting image of his father
  41. A man with an outstanding personality
  42. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  43. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  44. The Beginning of the life of Jesus Christ
  45. What Jesus did: First things first
  46. Servant of his Father
  47. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  48. A Messiah to die
  49. Impaled until death overtook him
  50. Cursed is the one hung on a tree
  51. Atonement and the race been bought
  52. Jesus three days in hell
  53. What Jesus Did – Misleading around the Messiah and the final assessment
  54. Christ having glory
  55. Words in the world
  56. Ignorance of Today’s Youth (and Adults)
  57. God or a god

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  • Be Thankful: 5 Things God Has Given Us We Should Thank Him For (authorbrianlknack.wordpress.com)
    Be Thankful God Gave Us Life  –  Not only did he breathe the breath of life into us that we might become a living soul but he has given us New Life in the New Covenant through the blood of His son Jesus! God put us here for a purpose and that purpose is to live for Him and experience the joy of His presence every day. For those who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives God has also given to us the gift of Eternal Life in Him!
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    Because God loved us so much, He didn’t want us to continue to drift away from Him in our selfish, self-centered existence. He loved us so much that He gave us the gift of His Son, Jesus, to be the way back to Him. That gift is the best, most amazing, most expensive, most valuable gift ever given, and it was given to us. He loved us enough to give us Jesus.
  • Focus On God (christianmotivations.weebly.com)
    the Bible teaches us that the flesh (since we are all born in sin through the fall of Adam and Eve) is enmity against God.
  • The Tense of Life – Future Perfect (cerkas.wordpress.com)
    In truth, time is but a fabrication and rationalization of our minds in an attempt to avoid confusion and chaos.  Simply, time helps us comprehend our existence within the limits of our knowledge.
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    The true beauty of Christianity, however, is that by being born again via Baptism, we are cleansed from sin’s blemish on our soul and are blessed to have the opportunity to live this earthly life in God’s Light, striving to become like Him, understanding that at times, we will falter and sin.  And in the wisdom of our Creator, He provided a mechanism for us to redeem ourselves of sins via repentance, along with his Grace via forgiveness.
  • Why does God make a way for us to return to paradise? (christianitymatters.com)
    Because we are mostly focused on the negative, we think a lot about why things are bad and messed up in this world but we spend little time thinking about why God makes a way for us to return to paradise.
  • Found By Grace (ponderingtheheartofjesus.com)
    When people can’t talk about difficulties together, they tend to avoid just like Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden when they realized they had sinned against God.
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    Have you trusted in the mediator Jesus as your Savior from the wages of sin? God is pursuing you and inviting you to be reconciled to Him right now, this Christmas.
  • Oh, Christmas Tree! (atimetoshare.wordpress.com)
    We are introduced to two trees in the Genesis account of creation – the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  The first inhabitants were given the Tree of life for food.  The other one they ate from in hopes of becoming as wise as God.
  • History of Christmas Trees part 1 (joannerambling.wordpress.com)
    In 1584, the historian Balthasar Russow wrote about a tradition, in Riga, of a decorated fir tree in the market square where the young men “went with a flock of maidens and women, first sang and danced there and then set the tree aflame”. There’s a record of a small tree in Breman, Germany from 1570. It is described as a tree decorated with “apples, nuts, dates, pretzels and paper flowers”. It was displayed in a ‘guild-house’ (the meeting place for a society of business men in the city).
  • Come Together (dbethandrews.wordpress.com)
    There are a lot of people in recent days talking about what divides us as a nation and how to bring some sort of reconciliation between people. We have all seen the protests and the anger and hurt. We have seen grief and sadness and bitterness and distrust – and all our protesting and postulating and town-hall meetings only seem to make the chasm wider. In this season of Christmas, this time when there should be “peace on earth” (Luke 2:14) and we should “love one another” (John 13:34) we see everything but. How did we become such an angry society? What is the root of our discord? And how do we reclaim the peace we’ve lost?
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    God gave Jesus as His gift to humanity to reconcile the creation with the Creator. To bring us peace. And when we are restored to God, when we have peace with God, we can then be restored in our human relationships and have peace with one another. But not until we first receive the gift of Jesus into our lives.
    +
    Peace that Never Ends
    God offers peace in our “dark night of the soul,” bringing His light to the night that surrounds us.
    +
    One day, and I think not so very far away, Jesus Christ will return, and bring with Him the fulfillment of God’s promise of peace. He will come, not as the baby in the manger, but as the victorious King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He will come with power and authority.  He will bring an end to evil and wickedness.  He will bring punishment to those who love evil and hatred and corruption – to all who rejected Him in this life.
  • The Bible and Mythology (ezracommentary.wordpress.com)
    Myths are stories that people make up to explain various aspects of life and to express worldview, how we see and interpret the world. There are myths about the world and the creation of the sea. There are myths to explain where man and woman came from. Some myths are about the islands and how they came to be populated. There are myths that try to explain good and evil. Other myths have to do with how man and woman are to relate to one another and to each other’s families. There are myths about children and the consequences of disobedience. There are myths about the afterlife, what happens to a person and where he goes when he dies.

    So myths are stories which attempt to explain life and its meaning. They often share wisdom as to how we should live and relate to others and to the world around us. Myths are meant for teaching so that the wisdom can be transmitted from one generation to another.

Different approach in organisation of services #1

Based in a Catholic country

The Belgian Bible Students and the Belgian Free Christadelphians both started a new year like the Catholic Church in Belgium and the schools, universities and clubs started a new year.

For the Catholic Church and for us there is the promise to the young girl Miriam (Mary/Maria) which let us look at the beginning of a new era, the time of salvation at hand. We, in contrast with our brethren and sisters from the Central Fellowship, like the CBM and CIL Christadelphians, start already now with reading about the Glad Tidings and the beginnings of the New Testament. The members of the Belgian Free Christadelphians in their ecclesiae follow the Bible Reading Plan by Robert Roberts and start only on the 1st of January with Genesis 1 & 2 plus Matthew 1 & 2.

Because there are so many Catholics in this country we like to show them from their readings, their religious year readings, what the Bible really says. Because every year they choose an other Gospel author as their main writer which they will follow, we also do take that writer his writings to put in the spotlight. It is a matter of coming closer to them and to have a better play on the ball with their readings and their traditions.

Different traditions

About those traditions, the Bible Students and several Amended Christadelphians may have a different feeling, because some Central Christadelphians join the pagan Christian festival and celebrate Christmas and Boxing Day. For us the real birth of Christ,on the 17th of October 4BCE is an other good reason to start in September/October with the new ‘church year’. But we do have to abstain from the pagan based holidays, like Christmas and the Catholic and some Protestants their Easter. The Easter we do have to celebrate and which the Free Christadelphians in Belgium also keep to is the remembrance day installed by Jesus Christ before he was going to die, on the 14th of Nisan.
Like the Belgian Catholics we may find that there is a time of advent in the Autumn, a preparation time to receive and celebrate the Good News of the one who brought us the Kingdom of God. Last year we looked at Luke and this year we shall therefore have a closer look to the Book of Matthew, the 1st book of the New Testament. There are more allusions to the Old Testament in this Gospel than in the others. It was clearly written for Jewish Christians, the purpose being to prove that Jesus was the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament and therefore it is also a very good book to introduce to those who do not know Jesus or to those who have a wrong view of this Nazarene man.

This year the Free Christadelphians in Belgium, like us, looked back at the awful year they had, and showed their good spirit to stand up again and to go forwards through the breakers which dash against our coast. The ecclesia Brussel-Leuven also found it wise to give an idea how the Christadelphian movement came into being and how it developed.

In the Gospel of Matthew is written how the Lord Jesus himself announced the work of Harvest of the Gospel Age.

“Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”” (Matthew 13:30 NIV)

Adolf Daens, Flemish Jesuit priest from Aalst who is especially known for his socio-political involvement after he joined the diocesan clergy. He created the Daensist movement from which originated in 1893 the Christene Volkspartij inspired by Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum.

Adolf Daens (1839–1907) Flemish priest from Aalst. Daens was a Jesuit from 1859 to 1871 but is especially known for his socio-political involvement after he joined the diocesan clergy. He created the Daensist movement from which originated in 1893 the Christene Volkspartij inspired by Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum. The Christene Volkspartij forced the radicalisation and democratisation of the Catholic party.

Sowing the seeds in the 19° century

Dr. John Thomas (1805–1871) founder of the Christadelphian movement, a Restorationist religion with doctrines similar in part to some 16th-century Antitrinitarian Rationalist Socinians and the 16th-century Swiss-German pacifist Anabaptists. - Dr. John Thomas (1805-1871) grondlegger van de Christadelphian beweging, een herstellers van religie groepering met doctrines vergelijkbaar voor een deel met een aantal 16e-eeuwse Antitrinitarische Rationalistische Socinianen en de 16e-eeuwse Duits-Zwitserse pacifistische wederdopers of Anabaptisten.

Dr. John Thomas (1805–1871) founder of the Christadelphian movement, a Restorationist religion with doctrines similar in part to some 16th-century Antitrinitarian Rationalist Socinians and the 16th-century Swiss-German pacifist Anabaptists.

Brother John Thomas in the 19° century tried to sow the seeds. He found many listening ears. One of them was Brother Charles Taze Russell who visited Antwerp and Brussels in 1891. Already at that time the fresh new country seemed to struggle with the Gospel Faith. The Roman Catholic Church was a very strong bastion with her hand in the political system and favouring the rich instead of helping the poor, priest Adolf and his brother Pieter Daens, or Pie Donsj for those from Aalst, an exception.

Brother Charles met there a Christendom that was ignorant of biblical truth. The fear of the clergy and of the fire of hell, doctrine that has no foundation in the Scripture, kept people away from opening the Bible.  But the Catholic Church had taken care that the people would not come to see the truth, by forbidding them to read the Bible. Mass was done in Latin and the readings as such, in that language, did not say so much to the people, who had not studied enough to get to know Latin and Greek.

The Bible translations in Dutch, French or German were forbidden and blacklisted.

Walloon grocery and mining

Because there was so much French spoken Russell did find it a good idea to have a modest Swiss forestry worker named Adolphe Weber to proclaim “the good news of great joy” in the French speaking countries of Europe. Adolphe Weber began the translation in French of books of the “present truth” and published in Swiss, French and Belgian daily newspapers advertisements referring to the first volume of the studies in the Scriptures and some booklets.

Location in the municipality of Charleroi

Jumet is a section of the Belgian town of Charleroi within the Walloon region in the province of Hainaut. It was a commune of its own before the merger of the communes in 1977. – Location in the municipality of Charleroi

In 1901, a grocer named Jean-Baptiste Tilmant (father) working in Jumet-Gohissart, city located near Charleroi, answered one of these advertisements and asked for some literature. As a result, a small group of bible students started meetings at his house in 1902 and used material from Russell.

Urged by his desire to know more about the truth, Jean-Baptiste Tilmant wrote to the Swiss brother asking to receive more information. As an answer to his demand, Brother Weber came to Charleroi during his missionary tour, to strengthen the faith of this small group.
In 1903, the periodical “lighthouse of Zion Tower” was published in French for the first time. The light of truth began to
shine so brightly in this mining area. Indeed, each Sunday morning, a small group of Biblestudentsastheywerecalledat the time, were going “in the fields” to sow the seeds of truth contained in this eight pages periodical; they waited for instance at the exit of churches. That is how the two first editions of “Zion’s Watch Tower” were largely distributed.

Borderareas

The Borinage is an area in the Walloon province of Hainaut in Belgium

The small group of Jumet Gohissart pushed away the limits of its territory to the south in the French part of the country. Some time later, the truth of God’s Kingdom also expended among the Flemish population.

In the month of august 1904, ten years before the First World War, these brave messengers of the Good News went to Denain in France, to offer booklets to people getting out from a Baptist temple. In Belgium and France the non-trinitarian Baptists mostly were not openly known, because of the fear of persecution.
The results of their activity was that two years later, a congregation started near Denain in Haveluy.
Jean Baptiste Tilmant and his friends continued to bravely preach the biblical truth and other groups appeared to face this big growth, a deposit of books was opened at brother’s Tilmant house in Jumet Gohisart and in 1906 a bible student community was founded in Denain.
The “Lighthouse” of August 1904, page 64, mentions for the first time the name and books from “Dawn”; (It has to be Volume I of the Studies in the Scriptures); subscriptions to the “Lighthouse” and request for free booklets and papers.
In 1906 the leaflets “Do you Know?” and the “Wage of sin” two other booklets and Volume 1 were to be published in Dutch and delivered in Brussels.
In 1908 Heinrich Brinkhoff published the first edition of The Watchtower in Dutch: De Wachttoren

Throwing pearls to pigs

Around 1910, François Caré who had known the truth in France went to Liège to a protestant friend named Edouard Verdière. He could not help it speaking with him about the truth. He wanted to help him leaving the false religion. His friend was so opposed to the message of brother Caré that at the end he finished by telling him
“ I don’t want to argue with you any longer , I don’t want to throw pearls to pigs “
After these words, he went to bed , these words bothered Mr Verdière all night long. The next morning, he asked brother Caré to tell him what he meant. He told him that he will no longer speak about the truth to him because he did not appreciate the “pearls” he was offering him. After this explanation, his friend became more conciliating so that after his return to France brother Caré started to send him regularly periodicals. He also dispatched a few volumes of Studies in the Scriptures. It did not last long before Edouard Verdière accepted the Truth and even began to speak in public. In another district of Belgium, light began to break through the darkness.

From Catholicism to Protestantism to coming in the Truth

The Rosary (from Latin rosarium, meaning “Crown of Roses” or “garland of roses” , in its most commonly known format as the Dominican rosary, is a form of prayer used especially in the Catholic Church or a string of prayer beads used to count the component prayers

In the coalmine where he worked, Edouard Verdière had a colleague named Léonard Smets searching the truth. He was a sincere catholic; he diligently attended religious services with his family. He used to pray with a rosary. This man from Flemish origin lived in Heure-le Romain near Vivegnis (Liège). In 1900, a protestant offered him a Bible saying, “I have the Book of God”. Another day, at the confessional, Léonard Smets confessed to the priest that he was reading the Holy Scriptures. The priest said that if he still wanted to receive absolution for his sins he had to give back his Bible. From that day on, Léonard did not attend the service any-more. He thought,

“If they are sincere, they will come to meet me, because they have to come and catch back the lost sheep”.
However, the priest never came to see him. Léonard Smets began to attend the protestant temple.
File:Collegiale-Thann-p1010106.jpg

A confessional is a small, enclosed booth used for the Sacrament of Penance, often called confession, or Reconciliation. It is the usual venue for the sacrament in the Roman Catholic Church. – Traditional confessional in Saint-Thiébaut Church, Thann, France

Even on his working place, in the coalmine, Smets was reading the New Testament. One day, Vedière noticed it. He was curious to know which his religion was; he began to sing a protestant hymn. “I was protestant”, answered brother Verdière “but I have something better for you.” He offered him a copy of the “watchtower of Zion” and witnessed with all his strength of the truth. It happened in 1912. Léonard Smets did not keep this truth for himself; he shared it with a Flemish colleague named Joseph Poelmans, father of seven children. He was disillusioned by the teachings of  Catholicism and chose Protestantism. However when he read the periodical that Smets gave him, he recognised the accent of truth.

Later, the three coalminers Verdière, Smets and Poelmans questioned the protestant minister of religion of Herstal (Liège) about the doctrine of immortality, trinity and Hell. Instead of helping them, the pastor was very angry and threw them out. They realised he was not better than the catholic priest, so they decided to meet and to study the Scripture with the help of the books they received from France.
In 1908 5000 “watch Towers” were distributed in Belgium.
In 1911 Brother Russell could only stop for a few minutes in Liège where dear brethren Pétré and some others were waiting to greet him on the train: sister Miss Peerkings (an English sister living in Liège where she learned about the Truth) served as an translator. With the same train, Brother Russell arrived in Charleroi where he took the road to arrive in Denain in the evening.
Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869–1942), also known as "Judge" Rutherford, president of the incorporated Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, who played a primary role in the organization and doctrinal development of Jehovah's Witnesses. - Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869-1942), ook wel bekend als "Rechter" Rutherford, voorzitter van het Wachttorengenootschap, die een primaire rol in de organisatie en leerstellige ontwikkeling van Jehovah's Getuigen had.

Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869–1942), also known as “Judge” Rutherford, president of the incorporated Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, who played a primary role in the organization and doctrinal development of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In 1912, there were seven municipalities: Haine-Saint-Paul, Flémalle-Haute, Engis, Amay, Ampsin, Liège and JumetGohissart. Each of these groups was organizing monthly meetings and was welcoming Brother Weber from the Swiss office for periodical visits.

At Pentecost on June 26th and 27th 1912 there was a a general meeting or their first general assembly in Jumet Gohissart.

Brother Rutherford was in Jumet on Monday 22nd September for a private meeting.

The group also grew strongly in the most northern part of France and in 1913 more than 1,000 people attended a lecture by Joseph Franklin Rutherford when he visited Denain. On August 31, 1913 70 Belgian supporters visited a conference in Paris where Russell was present.

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To be continued: Different approach in organisation of services #2

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten # 1

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Please do find out more about the Christadelphians:

  1. Not all christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  2. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  3. Who are the Christadelphians
  4. What are Brothers in Christ
  5. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  6. Christadelphian people
  7. Christadelphians or Messianic Christians or Messianic Jews
  8. About the Belgian Free Christadelphians
  9. What Christadelphians teach
  10. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  11. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  12. 19° Century London Christadelphians
  13. Breathing and growing with no heir
  14. Commitment to Christian unity
  15.  Parts of the body of Christ
  16. What part of the Body am I?
  17. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  18. United people under Christ
  19. Fellowship
  20. The Ecclesia
  21. The Ecclesia in the churchsystem
  22. The ecclesia or Christadelphian church
  23. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  24. Our ecclesia or Christadelphian-church
  25. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  26. An ecclesia in your neighbourhood
  27. Communion and day of worship
  28. Christadelphians today
  29. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  30. Who Celebrates Easter as Religious Holiday
  31. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  32. Harvest in Belgium
  33. Biblestudents & T.C.Russell
  34. About the Belgian Biblestudents
  35. What the Belgian Biblestudents believe
  • 37 “Theses” Nailed to the Front Door of the First Baptist, Evangelical, Protestant Church (blackchristiannews.com)
    Some may think that it is prestigiousto be invited to meet with the Pope and to go and actually meet with the Pope. But it is not. In fact, it is foolishness and dangerous. And it flies in the face of what we have learned from church history about the thousands of people whose bloodwas shed because they opposed false Catholic teachings. We believe that this is a Satanic attempt to soften up the true church of Christ so that the Pope can, in the future, gain influence over Baptists, Evangelicals, and Protestants, and get them toparticipate in doing things that are contrary to Christ and the Bible.Many scholars believe that the “Great Whore” of Revelation is the Catholic Church situated in Vatican City in Rome. According to Christian apologist Dave Hunt, “There is only one city on the earth which, in both historical and contemporary perspectives, passes every test John gives, including its identification as Mystery Babylon. That city is Rome, and more specifically, Vatican City…The first thing we are told about the woman is that she is a ‘whore’… Against only one other city in history could a charge of fornication be leveled. That city is Rome, and more specifically Vatican City.”
  • Event Transcript: Religion in Latin America (pewforum.org)
    Latin America is home to more than 425 million Catholics – nearly 40% of the world’s total Catholic population – and the Roman Catholic Church now has a Latin American pope for the first time in its history. Yet identification with Catholicism has declined throughout the region, according to a major new Pew Research Center survey that examines religious affiliations, beliefs and practices in 18 Latin American countries and one U.S. territory (Puerto Rico).Historical data suggest that for most of the 20th century, from 1900 through the 1960s, at least 90% of Latin America’s population was Catholic. Today, the Pew Research survey shows, 69% of adults across the region identify as Catholic. In nearly every country surveyed, the Catholic Church has experienced net losses from religious switching, as many Latin Americans have joined evangelical Protestant churches or rejected organized religion altogether.
  • Vatican lifts ban on married priests for Eastern Catholic churches in U.S., Canada, Australia… (catholicculture.org)
    The Vatican has lifted a longstandingbanonthe ordination of married men to the priesthood in the Eastern Catholic churches.The tradition and discipline of the Eastern churches allowsforthe ordination of married men to the priesthood. (Bishopsmust be unmarried, however, and once ordained, a priest cannot marry.) The Vatican has repeatedly approved this tradition, while insistingonthe importance of priestly celibacy in the Latin rite.However, in the late 19th century, with the arrival of many Byzantine Catholic immigrants in Canada, Latin-rite prelates complained thatthe presence of married Catholic priests could create a “grave scandal.” The Vatican eventually ruled that the Eastern churches could not ordain married men in the countries where their communities forma minority of the Catholic population. The rule has historically applied primarily to Canada, the US, and Australia.With a decree approved by Pope Francis, and signed on June 14 by Cardinal Leonard Sandri, the Congregation for the Eastern Churches has now rescinded that ban. Catholic bishops of the Eastern churches serving in eparchies (dioceses) in the West are explicitly authorized to ordain married men.
  • Catholic ‘cannibalism’ (cruxnow.com)
    One evening a couple of years ago, I saw a bloodstained Eucharistic host.It was displayed in a home in Worcester, Massachusetts, about a five-minute drive down the street from my house. The host was the sixth Eucharistic phenomena associated with the late Audrey Santo — a young woman who was left mute and motionless after an accident in 1987.Up until her death in 2007, “Little Audrey,” as she was called, became the focal point for intense devotion as a “victim soul” who offered up her own sufferings for the salvation of others. Her case also attracted intense criticism, particularly given the claims about supernatural happenings in her presence.
  • Priests as Husbands and Fathers? (nytimes.com)
    This week, Pope Francis announced plans to visit the United States in 2015. The trip will be watched for signs of how U.S. bishops are adapting to the shift in tone coming from the Vatican. Not only has Pope Francis called for an open discussion on the Catholic Church’s views on gays and divorce, he’s also talked about priestly celibacy — a policy that a growing number of Catholics are pushing to change. If clerical marriage became more common, how would the Catholic Church change?
  • Victims of historic child sex abuse speak out, after Catholic Church refuses to accept “liability” for the crimes of their priests (secularnewsdaily.com)
    The Catholic Church is refusing to accept “liability” for long-term sex abuse that went on at the Mirfield Junior Seminary, despite paying out £120,000 to eleven victims of child sex abuse.
  • Cleric urges girls, women to shun abortion (dailypost.ng)
    Olanrewaju, who is also a former Parish Priest of Saints Joachim and Anne Catholic Church,Ijegun, Lagos, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).He spoke at the end of a rally on `’Walk for Life” organised by the churchtosensitise public on the dangers of abortion to human life.Olanrewaju said: “abortion, in any form, is an irreparable harm done to the innocent.“Any female, who procures a completed abortion, incurs excommunication by the commission of the offence as provided by Canon Law of the Catholic Church.

    “Human life must be respected and recognised by the civil society and the state from the moment of conception as an embryo until death, “ he told NAN.

    The cleric also urged relevant authorities to provide appropriate sanctions for “every deliberate termination of human life”.

  • Florida High School Implements ShoreTel Mobility on iPads (shoretel.com)
    Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High is a Roman Catholic college preparatory school of the Archdiocese of Miami, Florida. Located in nearby Southwest Ranches, with a student enrollment over 1,500, the high school is among the top private schools in the U.S. On the cutting edge of technology, McCarthy High School has a one-to-one iPad program to enhance the student learning environment.  Within the school’s progressive tech-savvy learning environment has been the ability to quickly reach teachers, anywhere anytime. Classrooms were not equipped with desk phones and the estimates to install them and wire the buildings were cost prohibitive. Also, the existing phone system and infrastructure were due for upgrades.
  • The Third Way ~ curated by Tom Cutts (UTS’83) (utsalumni.org)

    The Third Way: Homosexuality and the Catholic Church. A 40-minute documentary film focusing on the Catholic Church’s teachings regarding Homosexuality.

    “Original Sin for all of us, for every human being on this planet, has disoriented our desires. We often find ourselves hungry for things that do not satisfy the ache.”

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:1-7 – A Firstborn’s Birth In Bethlehem

Luke 2:1-7 – A Firstborn’s Birth In Bethlehem

LK2:1 Now it occurred in those days[1] that a decree[2] was sent out from Caesar Augustus[3] to register[4] all the inhabitants of the land.[5] LK2:2 This was the first census during the time Quirinius[6] was governor of Syria. LK2:3 So everyone traveled to register in their individual towns. LK2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee and the village of Nazareth to Judea and David’s village called Bethlehem.[7] LK2:5 Because his family was of David’s genealogy he registered there with his pregnant fiancée[8] Mary. LK2:6 And it came about while they were there it became the time for her to give birth. LK2:7 She gave birth to a son – her firstborn[9] – and then she wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger because there was no place for them at the inn.[10]


[1] In those days: About 10 AD.

[2] Decree: The Greek is DOGMA.

[3] Caesar Augustus: The Roman Emperor died in 15 AD.

[4] Register: Or, taxed, census, registration.

[5] All the inhabitants of the land: The word may refer only to Judea.

Vespasianus01 pushkin edit.png

Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus, 9th Emperor of the Roman Empire

[6] Quirinius: His full name is Publius Sulpicius Quirinius. Tacitus the Roman historian mentions him: “[Quirinius] sprang from the municipality of Lanuvium – had no connection; but as an intrepid soldier and an active servant he won a consulate under the deified Augustus, and, a little later, by capturing the Homonadensian strongholds beyond the Cilician frontier, earned the insignia of triumph,… adviser to Gaius Caesar during his command in Armenia.” [The Annals, III, XLVIII)] He died 21 AD. Josephus mentions him: “Quirinius, a Roman senator who had proceeded through all the magistracies to the consulship and a man who was extremely distinguished in other respects, arrived in Syria, dispatched by Caesar to be governor of the nation and to make an assessment of their property. Coponius, a man of equestrian rank, was sent along with him to rule over the Jews with full authority.” Josephus mentions that he ordered a taxation which may have caused the need for the census. This led to a Jewish revolt. [Jewish Antiquities, XVIII, 1, 2, 3, 4 [i, 1]] For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Acts 5:37. Another commentary states: “Quirinius stood in exactly the same relation to Varus, the governor of Syria, as at a later time Vespasian did to Mucianus. Vespasian conducted the war in Palestine while Mucianus was governor of Syria; and Vespasian was legatus Augusti, holding precisely the same title and technical rank as Mucianus.” [The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge 1957, Vol. IX, pp. 375, 376] This and other histories and archaeological discovers proves the existence of such a person.

[7] Bethlehem: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew 2:6. [Micah 5:2]

[8] Fiancée: Or, espoused wife, betrothed, engaged, having been given in marriage. The state of engagement made Mary his woman or wife. Though they were not married by the Jewish ritual of the wedding feast, there was no legal condemnation under the Law of Moses.

[9] Firstborn: Or, her first child. The Greek is PROTOTOKON, the first born of a woman. Thus, inferring she had other children. [Matthew 1:25]

[10] Inn: Or, lodging house. This may have been a guestroom, however it may have been a caravanary – a place where those on the trade routes stopped for over night rest. Surely it was primitive and one thing dominated the sense – the odour of animals.

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File:Daphni.jpg

A mosaic from Daphni Monastery in Greece (ca. 1100), showing the midwives bathing the new-born Christ. Originally uploaded to English Wikipedia by User:Ghirlandajo.

Additional notes:

About the birth of Christ there are different opinions, but all historians agree Jeshua son of Josef and Miriam (Joseph and Mary) was born before the beginning of the contemporary time calendar system. We take it he was born on October 17, 4BCE.
All has to be taken in account: cleaning of the stalls, having the sheep out in the fields, position of the stars and lunar circle with the amount of falling stars and special notated events in the air, plus the census and the people in charge at the time, as well as the killing of the babies.

Please do find additional reading:

  1. Astronomical and Historical Evidence for Dating the Nativity in 2 BC
    By Nollet, James A.
    Academic journal article from Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Vol. 64, No. 4
    Article details
    It is commonly accepted that Jesus Christ was born either before 4 BC (working from references in Matthew, Flavius Josephus) or after AD 6 (working from information in Luke). However, Flavius Josephus’s dates are unreliable and sometimes argue against themselves. Astronomically, the eclipse of March 13, 4 BC, is highly unlikely to have been the eclipse which Josephus states heralded the death of King Herod, who, therefore, did not die in 4 BC; neither did Herod die in 3 BC or 2 BC, since there were no lunar eclipses visible in Judea in those years. However, 1 BC had two eclipses; either of these, more likely the latter, was the eclipse which just preceded Herod’s death. Herod, therefore, died either in 1 BC or AD 1, and Jesus, therefore, was born either from 3 BC to 1 BC, or from 2 BC to AD 1. The Quirinius census of Luke’s gospel was not the Quirinius census of AD 6, but rather the Pater Patriae census in 2 BC. Jesus was probably born then in 2 BC. This date is consistent with the records of Matthew, Luke, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Eusebius.
    When I attended Catholic parochial schools, the nuns taught us that Jesus was born “in the Year 0.” (1) Today, it is generally taught that Jesus was born during or before 4 BC. But there is no actual record of this date. This supposition rests solely on Flavius Josephus’s passing remark that a lunar eclipse occurred shortly before King Herod died, and we know there was an eclipse visible in Jerusalem on March 13,4 BC. Since we know from the Gospel of Matthew that Jesus was up to two years old or younger when Herod died, this means Jesus could have been born as early as 6 BC. This date, however, seems to clash with the Nativity account in Luke, which says that the Nativity occurred during a census conducted by the Roman Governor of Syria Quirinius, who we know conducted a census of Judea in AD 6. This article proposes that the likeliest date of the Nativity was not 4 BC, but instead about 1 BC. This is also the year when Herod actually died, and it reconciles the apparent discrepancy of dates in the Nativity accounts of Matthew and Luke.
    There are actually many estimates for the year of the birth of Jesus. Some of the earliest include the placement of the birth of Jesus in the 44th year of the reign of Emperor Augustus, about 3-2 BC by Irenaeus in AD 180. (2) In AD 194, Clement of Alexandria estimated that Jesus was born 194 years before the death of the emperor Commodus who died on the last day of AD 192; therefore Jesus was born around 2 BC. (3) Early in the fourth century, Eusebius wrote that Jesus was born in the 42nd year of the reign of Augustus, and in the 28th year after the death of Cleopatra. (4) Leaving aside the issue of inclusive or exclusive counting, that places the birth of Jesus at around 2 BC. The Gospel of Luke states that there was a “universal census” of the entire Roman world shortly before Jesus was born, when P. Sulpicius Quirinius was governor of Syria. Quirinius was governor twice, in 3 BC and in AD 6. (5) However, we generally and popularly suppose that Luke was referring to the latter term, because that was the year in which a local census for taxation purposes occurred; this would mean that Luke exaggerated when he spoke about a census of the whole (Roman) world.
    According to Josephus, Augustus sent Quirinius to be governor of Syria at the same time that he sent Coponius to be the first procurator of Judea, (6) stating also that this census occurred in the 37th year “after Caesar’s victory over Antony at Actium” (31 BC) (7) which, counting inclusively, brings us to AD 6. However, we will see that Josephus was wrong on many of his dates. Therefore, as a working hypothesis, I regard it as possible that Josephus got his fact wrong about Coponius, confusing Quirinius’s first term as governor with his second term. If so, most of the discrepancy between the dates of the Nativity which exists between Luke and Matthew …
    Read the full-text article

    Eusebius of Caesarea.jpg

    Eusebius of Caesarea Roman historian, exegete and Christian polemicist

  2. The Historical Christ and the Jesus of Faith: The Incarnational Narrative as History
  3. Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity
  4. Nativity Allusions–Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary, 1986
  5. Christmas and Arbitrary choice for 25 December
    The choice of 25 December is considered arbitrary and not based on evidence provided in the New Testament, the Christian text dealing with the life of Christ. Many theories have been put forward for the choice of the 25 December as Christ’s Nativity, but that it fell during Roman Saturnalia is now largely dismissed. It appears to have been fixed in relation to Epiphany (6 January), counting backward twelve days (now the twelve days of Christmas) or thirteen nights by the lunar calendar. It also falls three days after the winter solstice, a date when a number of pagan gods underwent resurrection after the shortest day of the year. This includes Sol Invictus of the Roman state religion during pagan times, a cult associated with the deification of the emperor. Whatever the explanation, it is evident that the early Christian Fathers, in their struggle for political and psychological supremacy, turned the interpretatio romana (the process of romanizing foreign gods) on its ear by expropriating a number of pagan symbols and observances and providing them with new Christian meanings. For this reason, Christmas and especially the foods associated with it represent a fusion of diverse pagan strands varying widely in emphasis from one country to the next. The celebration of Yule in Scandinavia has become one of the most distinctive aspects of the holiday as observed in northern Europe. The tradition of St. Nicholas of Myra in the Netherlands and the Franciscan cult of the Bambino Gesu in Italy are examples of the many forms these fusions have taken. All are expressed symbolically in food.
  6. Christmas [Christ’s Mass], in the Christian calendar

    The observance probably does not date earlier than AD 200 and did not become widespread until the 4th cent. The date was undoubtedly chosen for its nearness to Epiphany, which, in the East, originally included a commemoration of the nativity. The date of Christmas coincides closely with the winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere, a time of rejoicing among many ancient cultures. Christmas, as the great popular festival of Western Europe, dates from the Middle Ages. In England after the Reformation the observance became a point of contention between Anglicans and other Protestants, and the celebration of Christmas was suppressed in Scotland and in much of New England until the 19th cent.

    In the mid 19th cent. Christmas began to acquire its associations with an increasingly secularized holiday of gift-giving and good cheer, a view that was popularized in works such as Clement Clarke Moore‘s poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (1823) and Charles Dickens’s story A Christmas Carol (1843). Christmas cards first appeared c.1846. The current concept of a jolly Santa Claus was first made popular in New York in the 19th cent. (see Nicholas, Saint).

    The Yule Log [Yule, from O.E.,=Christmas], the boar’s head, the goose (in America the turkey), decoration with holly, hawthorn, wreaths, mistletoe, and the singing of carols by waifs (Christmas serenaders) are all typically English (see carol). Gifts at Christmas are also English; elsewhere they are given at other times, e.g., at Epiphany in Spain. The Christmas tree was a tradition from the Middle Ages in Germany. The crib (crèche) with the scene at Bethlehem was popularized by the Franciscans. The midnight service on Christmas Eve is a popular religious observance in the Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches.

  7. Observance of Christmas in early British North America
    The observance of Christmas in early British North America derived from practices familiar in England, where 25 December was celebrated with a good deal of bawdy revelry. Due to this association, as well as the lack of any biblical sanction for that date, observance of Christmas was opposed by Puritans in England and was banned in the Massachusetts Bay Colony between 1659 and 1681.
    In the nineteenth century, Christmas became domesticated, with a shift toward a nuclear family experience of gift giving around a Christmas tree. The tree was popularized by immigrants from Germany, where it had become prominent earlier in the century. Christmas became the principal sales holiday of the year, presided over by Santa Claus, a figure compounded from myth, religious history, and the need for a congenial symbol for the new attitude toward the holiday. He was introduced and promoted by popular literature and illustration, from Clement Moore‘s “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” (1823) to Thomas Nast’s cartoons of the portly character. Charles Dickens toured America in 1867 reading from his enormously popular “A Christmas Carol,” which further reinforced the notions that were crystallizing about how Christmas should be celebrated.

    Charles Dickens-A Christmas Carol-Title page-First edition 1843.jpg

    A Christmas Carol, a early Victorian era Britain novella by English author Charles Dickens, first published by Chapman & Hall on 19 December 1843. One of the greatest influences in rejuvenating the old Christmas traditions of England but, while it brings to the reader images of light, joy, warmth and life, it also brings strong and unforgettable images of darkness, despair, coldness, sadness and death.

  8. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  9. God’s Special Gift
  10. Birth of Christ – articles
  11. A season of gifts
  12. Thanksgivukkah and Advent
  13. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  14. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  15. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  16. Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia
  17. The nativity story
  18. Religious Practices around the world
  19. Idolatry or idol worship
  20. Focus on outward appearances
  21. Speedy Christmas!
  22. Christmas trees
  23. Merry Christmas with the King of Kings
  24. What do you want for Christmas
  25. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  26. Sancta Claus is not God
  27. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  28. ‘Tis The Season To Be Cranky: Religious Right Gears Up New Round Of ‘War On Christmas’ Claims
  29. The atheist’s Thanksgiving dilemma  Whom to thank when there’s no recipient?
  30. Pagan Roots? 5 Surprising Facts About Christmas
  31. Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights
  32. Mocking, Agitation and Religious Persecution
  33. History of Christianity
  34. The imaginational war against Christmas
  35. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious

+++

 

  • Merry Christmas From Real Media (thisisrealmedia.com)
    So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
  • Have yourselve a Merry Christmas (prhayz.com)
    Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,  to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife who was with child.  So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
  • Practical Details (loveunderstandserve.wordpress.com)
    Jesus was born at the time of a census called for throughout the Roman Empire. In order to expedite the data collection, the different Israelite tribes were require to assemble in their ancestral hometowns. For Joseph, this was the town of Bethlehem, where his great- (x24) grandfather David was born. This census was most probably being conducted in anticipation of a tax increase and for the purpose of enforcing military service.
  • Did a Census Really Bring Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem? (gospelbondservant.com)
    The census or enrollment, which, according to Luke 2:1, was the occasion of the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem where Jesus was born, is connected with a decree of Augustus embracing the Greek-Roman world. This decree must have been carried out in Palestine by Herod and probably in accordance with the Jewish method–each going to his own city–rather than the Roman.

    While Josephus does not mention the Herodian census, Luke carefully distinguishes the census at the time of Jesus’ birth as “first,” (i.e. first in a series of enrollments connected either with Quirinius or with the imperial policy inaugurated by the decree of Augustus).

    The geographical work of [Herod] Agrippa, together with the interest of the emperor in the organization and finances of the empire and the attention which he gave to the provinces are indirectly corroborative of Luke’s statement. Augustus himself conducted a census in Italy in and in Gaul in 727/27* [see Roman dating system, ‘AUC‘] and had a census taken in other provinces. For Egypt there is evidence of a regular periodic census every 14 years extending back to 773/20 and it is not improbable that this procedure was introduced by Augustus.

    The time of the decree is stated only in general terms by Luke, and it may have been as early as 727/27 or later in 746-8, its execution in different provinces and subject kingdoms being carried out at different times. Luke dates the census in the kingdom of Herod specifically by connecting it with the administrative functions of Quirinius in Syria. But as P. Quintilius Varus was the legate of Syria just before and after the death of Herod from 748/6-750/4 and his predecessor was C. Sentius Saturninus from 745/9-748/6 there seems to be no place for Quirinius during the closing years of Herod’s reign.

    Tertullian indeed speaks of Saturninus as legate at the time of Jesus’ birth. It is possible that the connection of the census with Quirinius may be due to his having brought to completion what was begun by one of his predecessors; or Quirinius may have been commissioned especially by the emperor to conduct a census in Syria.

  • Nazareth to Bethlehem (toddthehiker.wordpress.com)
    More than 700 years before the birth of Christ the prophet Micah foretold the place of the Messiah’s birth, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.”  (Micah 5:2)  The reason Joseph and Mary had to travel to Bethlehem in the first place was because of the decree from Caesar Augustus, someone who did not even acknowledge the God of the Israelites.  If not for his decree there would have been no reason for a poor carpenter from Nazareth and his pregnant betrothed to make the difficult trip to Bethlehem.  When you stop to consider the events that took place to ensure the fulfillment of this prophesy you realize just how incredible they are, and perhaps you can begin to understand the sovereignty of God.
  • The Nativity explained: The Census (christiantoday.com)
    A counting of peoples across the Roman Empire, requiring that all people return to the lands of their origin. In Joseph’s case, that was Bethlehem, the city of David.
    +
    it isn’t as though Rome only had one census that came round every so often. There were tax censuses, designed to give an idea of exactly how much money the government could bring in, but there were also allegiance censuses, where rather than merely counting everyone, people were gathered up and encouraged to swear a pledge of allegiance to Caesar in Rome.
  • The Star of Bethlehem explained? (must read) (religionstudent.wordpress.com)
    The Star of Bethlehem plays a significant role in the nativity story.  Most Christians accept this as part of tradition, while the phenomena is criticized by those who are less likely to buy in to the story.  However, could it be that the Star of Bethlehem isn’t just part of a story?  Could the famous star actually have existed at the time of Jesus? According to “Biblica The Bible Atlas: A Social and Historical Journey through the Lands of the Bible” it may have actually existed.

    First, to support Biblica’s claim, we must first look at the birth of Jesus.  By exploring the two accounts of the Birth of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of Matthew.  Matthew makes the claim that Jesus was born in the time of King Herod (the man who later plans to kill the newborn).  Luke does not only make mention of King Herod, but the author also makes mention of Jesus being born during the time of Augustus Caesar and Quirinius the governor of Syria.  Luke’s account, however, is controversial.  Augustus ruled from 27 BCE to 14 CE and Quirinius governed Syria from 6-7 CE.  The problem comes with Herod who ruled from 37-4 BCE.  This historical fact means that Luke’s mention of Quirinius is inaccurate and should be disregarded (although historical accuracy is not the focus of Luke’s Gospel).

  • Was There Really a Census at the Time? (nostopministries.wordpress.com)
    Luke’s precise language emphasizes a particular census, as if to contrast it with similar ones. In fact, another census did occur ten years later, which Luke refers to in Acts 5:37. The author’s additional information concerning Qurinius’s governorship (Luke 2:2), which is unnecessary for the narrative, reveals a familiarity with the recent past. Luke knew his audience would need clarification between similar events, so he gave them the details necessary to understand the date he meant.The emperor at the time of Jesus’s birth, Caesar Augustus, kept count of the population throughout his empire for taxation purposes. Israel would have been no exception. Even if we have no other accounts of the census taken during that time (which is no proof that the event didn’t happen given the sparse records available), the event seems likely from what we do know of the Roman Empire.

    Quirinius may, in fact, have governed Syria at the time and also ten years later. However, the original Greek suggests another possible reading. Luke’s statement may imply that King Herod performed a Jewish style census (counted according to the historic location of the tribes and clans) to keep the peace. Thus, the command of Caesar was notreally carried out in the Roman method (counted by where the person was born) until ten years later when Qurinius was governor and Herod had died.

  • The Nativity According to Luke | David’s Commonplace Book
    Linus quotes from the Gospel according to Luke. There are two accounts of Jesus’s birth in the New Testament, the account that Luke gives and the account that Matthew gives. Mark ignores the question of Jesus’s birth entirely, preferring to begin with Jesus’s public ministry while John actually begins his account before the nativity and moves from there to Jesus’ career.
  • What Luke Actually Wrote (str.typepad.com)
    The gist of the problem is that Luke claims that the first tax when Quirinius was governor of Syria was at the time of Jesus’ birth – around 4-2 B.C. The Jewish historian Josephus, however, records that the first tax under Quirinius’ administration was in 6 A.D., after Jesus’ birth. There’s no reconciling these reports, unless we actually look back at what Luke wrote and at some historical data.
  • Was Jesus really born? – Virendra Parekh (bharatabharati.wordpress.com)
    “Let me tell you at the outset that Jesus is no mythological mumbo-jumbo like your Rama and Krishna, and even Buddha. On the contrary, he was a solid historical figure whose miracles were witnessed and vouchsafed by many contemporary people,” said a Jesuit missionary to Sita Ram Goel. Let us have a closer look at this ‘solid historical figure’.

    Historicity of Jesus as described in Gospels has been one of the principal dogmas of all Christian denominations. Now, as Ram Swarup used to say, historicity by itself does not mean much. You and I are historical persons, but that fact by itself does not confer greatness or any other virtue on us. However, when historicity of the founder is touted as a point of superiority, we are inclined to examine it a little more closely.
    +
    Sita Ram Goel has pointed out that word “Christian” does not appear in the Christian literature itself before 140 AD. On the other hand, anti-Christian polemics which appears for the first time around 160 AD, starts by questioning the existence of a character called Jesus Christ.

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JW Current Apostate Status and Final Temple Judgment - Web Witnessing Record; The Bethel Apostasy is Prophecy

Sophia's Pockets

Wisdom Withouth Walls

ConquerorShots

Spiritual Shots to Fuel the Conqueror Lifestyle

Examining Watchtower Doctrine

Truth Behind the "Truth"

Theological NoteBook

Dabbling into Theology

sowers seed

be careful 'how you hear'

Next Comes Africa

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me - Psalm 139: 9,10

friarmusings

the musings of a Franciscan friar...

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