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

Some Christian bibles which followed the new knowledge of Hebrew words and used more the Jewish way of saying were condemned or considered ‘from the devil’ by several Christian groups.

The 2000 edition of the New Oxford Annotated Bible, with the NRSV text

New English Bible cover.jpgEven more aggressive than the New English Bible (NEB, 1961-1970), undertaken by the major Protestant churches of the British Isles, for which scholars translated from the best Hebrew and Greek texts, aiming to present the full meaning of the original in clear and natural modern English, the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Christian Bible (1989) for their translating Isaiah 7:14 as “young woman” was burned in fundamentalist pulpits and the RSV committee was accused of being in league with the devil. Despite all the uproar, in the first year, the RSV sold 2 million copies. Until the appearance of the NRSV, it enjoyed wide use on college campuses, especially in study editions such as the Oxford Annotated Bible (OAB) with contributors from mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, and non-religious interpretative traditions.

The continuing committee of the RSV and NRSV has been working and publishing for half a century: the New Testament (1946), the Old Testament (1952), the books of the Apocrypha (1957), a second edition of the New Testament (1957), an Oxford Annotated Bible with a Catholic imprimatur (1966), an ecumenical [for Protestants, Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox] expanded edition with the Apocrypha (1977), a 40% condensed version of the bible: Reader’s Digest Bible (a project, led by John E. Walsh, which took seven editors three years to complete), which abridged the Old Testament to one-half of its original length (1982), and the NRSV (1989).

The Open Bible edition of the New American Standard Bible in the Church of Saint Mary, an Episcopal Church in Sagada, Mountain Province, the Philippines.

In those version one can find  more radical than the slight alterations in the most literally translated New American Standard Bible (NASB 1971 last updated in 1995) which sought to render grammar and terminology in contemporary English or the New King James Bible (NKJV 1982), which are both revisions of the KJV.
Richard Whitaker provided a concordance for the RSV in 1980. The NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible was published in August 1997.

Mostly conservative (Republicans & Tea party) Americans where against the better translations than those of the 17th century. They also resisted to accept that Biblical characters had Jewish names and lots of English people have difficulties to see those names restored. Bibles with names like Moshe for Moses and Jeshua (the real name of the Messiah) instead of the more popular English name Jesus (Issou = Hail Zeus) or where the noun was translated in a subject instead of what they were used to see as a name, like Satan for an adversary or sheol/hades/hell for grave and not a place of doom.

Around the turn of the 20th century to the 21st century many were keen not to have to spent too much time at bible reading and wanted only to see those pieces in it they like or which are good for the pastor to concentrate his sermons on.

As such we can call the turn of the century the time of the “Selection Bibles”, books which were called bible but only presented a selection of the bible and in most cases even only selections from the New testament.

Readers Digest Illustrated Bible

Not a small handy Bible, but more a coffee table Bible the Readers Digest Illustrated Bible could get some people interested to not only look at the nice pictures but to go and read the ‘illustrative’ text. Originally printed in 1990 it got many reprints and its popularity caused other editors also to present some illustrated and thematic condensed Bibles.

In shortening the text some went very far and some even tried to bring the language of their condensed bile translation in what they called a modern language,even presenting a bible in American slang and in the language of rappers. That Rapper’s Bible was one of the many short-lived versions which seemed to try to see the day light.

Today’s English Version

The Today’s English Version (also known as the Good News Bible) is a contemporary translation which according to the publishers seeks to state clearly and accurately the meaning of the original text in words and forms that are widely accepted by people who use English as a means of communication. It is is designed to be easy to read for those who are not familiar with the Bible. This translation does not follow the traditional vocabulary and style found in the historic English Bible versions. Instead it attempts to present the biblical content and message in standard, everyday, natural English and takes a lot of liberties in the way of translation the original texts. The aim of this Bible is to give today’s readers maximum understanding of the content of the original texts, which they try to do by telling what they think the text is wanting to say.

Good News Bible book cover.png

The international cover of the Good News Bible, used since 2004.

Some of the end of century translations said to have chosen to bring a dynamic equivalence, bringing the Hebrew and Greek  in a translation “thought for thought” rather than “word for word”.  But their paraphrasing went sometimes even further than the Good News Bible (GNB), which first had the Messianic writings presented under the title Good News for Modern Man in 1966. That version became anglicised into British English by the British and Foreign Bible Society with the use of metric measurements for the Commonwealth market, and got also known as Today’s English Version (TEV).

Like the GNB several editors tried to bring an English bible for non-native English speakers. The GNB was born out of the translation theories of linguist Eugene Nida, the Executive Secretary of the American Bible Society’s Translations Department. For some dialect versions and the Rapper’s bible we have no idea who created such translations.

Jargon-free English was used for the Contemporary English Version (also known as Bible for Today’s Family) in 1995, originally published by the American Bible Society and for the anglicised version by the British and Foreign Bible Society.

On of the books bringing a selection of the New testament was the “Youth Bible” which was also translated in many other languages and found its way in our regions as the “Jongeren Bijbel” with fluent contemporary Netherlands Dutch. It had a clear Pentecostal touch with its design and purpose to bring youngster to Jesus. With smashing yellow markings phases or words were enlightened to give an idea what the bible wanted to say. Though several notes, from Pentecostal view point, mislead people and wanting them to believe Jesus is God and that it was Jesus who had done and said certain things in the past, which God had done.

Looking at the way our society was going the  intention of that Youth Bible was not bad. The teenage years can be difficult and even in this day and age of more communication and better follow up in schools, the growing up youngsters encounter many difficult things they do not dare to talk or cannot talk about with their parents.  Lonely as most teens struggle to fit in and take on new responsibilities, media and peers both constantly bombard youth with the message that they are never good enough and will never measure up. No wonder most teens end up hopeless and lonely! Teens can use as much encouragement and love as we can give them! For that reason such a selection of bible verses was a real good thing. The given Bible verses for teens were a good selection to offer words of comfort and hope to our youth.  But the publishers better had called the book a selection of the New Testament.

On this line of thinking several other Youth bibles got published. As such we can find the New Century Youth Bible, first published in 1993, which has consistently been among the top three selling Bibles in the UK. The the New Century Youth Bible is based on the New Century Version which has its roots extending to the English Version for the Deaf (EVD) Bible translation (by the World Bible Translation Center, a subsidiary of Bible League International), and is a revision of the International Children’s Bible (1986) which was aimed at young readers and those with low reading skills/limited vocabulary in English. It is written at a 3rd grade level (from the introduction) and is both conservative and evangelical in tone.

The base for the New Century Youth Bible, the NCV had a translation team of 50 Bible scholars and translators which included people with translation experience on such acclaimed versions as the New International Version, the New American Standard Bible, and the New King James Version [(1982) The anglicized edition originally known as the Revised Authorized Version (RAV) New Testament 1979, Psalms in 1980, Old Testament and full Bible in 1982], claiming that the best available Hebrew and Greek texts were used, principally the third edition of the United Bible Societies’ Greek text and the latest edition of the Biblia Hebraica, along with the Septuagint.

The original New Century Version got first the New Testament published in 1978 followed by the Old Testament in 1986, released as the New Century Version in 1987. The NCV has been available as a stand-alone version since 1991.

This revised edition claims to bring the Youth Bible right up-to-date for the twenty-first century. Whilst retaining the original Anglicized text, this revised edition has over 25 of its Life Files replaced or updated. There are also new categories on subjects such as music, euthanasia and the environment. Also in the collage edition are new categories subjects included such as stress, music, image, euthanasia and the environment. What is very good about it is that this time there is also an  updated dictionary and topical concordance; Book-openers – practical introductions to help focus the  youngsters their reading; and a free limited edition CD featuring some new music.

Probably we may count the “Soul Survivor” Bible of “NIV Soul Survivor Youth Bible” in line with the “Youth Bible” but than with texts from the originally published in the 1970s, having received updates in 1984 and 2011 English translation of the Protestant Bible edited by Biblica [formerly the International Bible Society (IBS)]

Easy to Read Version

The English Version for the Deaf on which Ervin Bishop and deaf-language specialist Benton Dibrell worked closely together, was also the base for Ervin Bishop’s Holy Bible: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV). It uses the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (1984) as its Old Testament text with some readings from the Dead Sea Scrolls. Also, it follows the Septuagint when its readings are considered more accurate. Those who worked on the EVD/ERV followed conservatively the approach to translation that Nida calls ‘dynamic equivalence,’ referred to by Beekman as ‘idiomatic’ translation” and using a gender-neutral languagehttps://www.accordancebible.com/files/images/156499-custom.pngHaving Billy Graham Evangelistic Association behind the Everyday New Testament (Minneapolis: World Wide Publications, 1988) could have made it more popular. In 1988 Sweet/Worthy Publishing was acquired by Word Publishing, which in 1991 published another revision. This 1991 revision was more extensive, and it was designed to make the version more suitable for an older readership, with longer sentences and more fluent style. In 1992 Word Publishing was acquired by Thomas Nelson Publishers, which continued to print the 1991 revision under the name, New Century Version.

An other good bible translation in the language youngsters easily can understand (lower grades), which also was translated into a 12 year old children’s understanding Dutch is the Living bible or the Life Application Bible (1986/88) presented in Dutch as “Het Leven, Praktische lessen uit Het boek” (2001 Ed; Jongbloed-Heerenveen) as a a Study Bible published by Tyndale House Publishers. It has been available in a number of editions that use various Bible translations, and in Belgium was presented in English and Dutch with the paraphrased version “The Book” (“het Boek”) as basic bible text. The contemporary, easy-to-understand Bible is available in the fastest growing Bible translation, the New Living Translation, impacting the hearts and lives of people worldwide through the authoritative yet easy-to-read Bible translation that brings the Good News alive to readers of all ages. Designed for someone who is new to the Bible or for an unbeliever, The Book features a topical helpfinder, book introductions, and indexes that help people understand God’s Word.

We noticed that that version could bring many to understand the Bible better and to get interested to get to know the ‘real text’ which made them continuous bible students. fro such this could be a version we could recommend for young people, next to the Watchtower Youth bible, which offers a selection of bible texts in an easily told way.

Front CoverWanting to help developing healthy habits is one of the keys to successful living. Experts say that if we do something for 21 days straight, we can turn it into a habit for a lifetime. With that in mind the Life Application Bibles were created. One of the best habits anyone can develop is reading the Bible every day. “The Book: 21 Day Habit” is designed to help you get started. Set aside just a few minutes each day – before bedtime, on your lunch break, or whenever your day allows to read “The Book: 21 Day Habit,” When you finish the 21 days of reading, move right into “The Book” and keep on going.

Front CoverIn the continuing line of “The Life” an expanded book version of the Living Water for Those Who Thirst audio devotional was created. We best call it a topical devotional containing 150 refreshing encounters with God’s Word. Passages are introduced with a lead-in reflection, and each segment concludes with a short devotional that brings it all together. References for numerous related passages are also included for those who wish to expand their devotional time or study the topic further. It features 150 topics! Flexible–short devotions with references for deeper study.

We do like to remind all that for those life application books the language is not at all correctly accurate. The NLT is based upon Kenneth N. Taylor’s corrupted Living Bible (1971), which sold over 40 million copies in North America alone. Somehow the Bible searches for compromises but still has a very evangelical background, avoiding words which can make it clear that Jesus is a human being. As such for example is left out that we are saved by the blood of Christ and is translated “Salvation through Jesus Christ” (Page A47), having the ‘blood of Jesus’ a taboo subject in those days. Though when people would read it carefully they also could find “So we have these three witnesses.” instead what is translated in the KJB – “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” That could still bring the readers to think about the spoken characters which bring witness in unity of mind. Though many trinitarians where offended not finding three names bearing record in heaven.

In a time that more than 200 new English Bible translations were published just within 30 years, several of those publication tried to put the accent on Jesus as the God, omitting Old Testament texts or doing as if in certain Old Testament texts Jesus was saying or doing something when it was Jehovah God doing it, just to give their (false) proof that Jesus would be God.

The NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha

The NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of those selective bibles directed to a special group of people. As such we could find a Housewife Bible (also translated in Dutch, presented in a handy pocket bible format: Huisvrouw Bijbel), a Workman’s Bible (with Dutch version Werkmans Bijbel) and even a Prisoner’s Bible (also in a pocket size edition in Dutch, presented as the “Gevangenis Bijbel, Gods Woord voor gevangenen”). The idea behind that last one was that God must have a special place in his heart for prisoners. according to the publishers this  is shown by the frequent mention of prison and prisoners in his word, imprisonment being one of the most wretched situations into which humans can fall in this world.

The Prisoner’s Bible wanted to buck up the many prisoners in this world. With the knowledge that prisoner movements and activities are restricted, not only are they deprived of family ties and forced to dwell in some of the most vicious company on earth, it wanted to show them there is hope. Also where they can feel they are left on their own in a slave-like relationship where others who care little for their well-being, order them about, and even abuse them, there exist Some One Who is with them all the time. The small book they can have in their cell or take with them can bring them comfort and shows how God, whose love and mercy cause him to commiserate with the downtrodden, sympathizes with the sufferings of prisoners, and how the Bible speaks often, and with compassion, of those in prison.

Though the majority of prisoners mentioned in the Bible were not rebels, but rather saints cast into prison as a result of their faithful witness, their feelings and thoughts could be of good help to our present prisoners, and the bible fragments looked well chosen for the subject and its readers.

https://i0.wp.com/isr-messianic.org/assets_c/2012/06/scriptures-leather-thumbs-1-thumb-850xauto-342.jpg

The Scriptures – Leather-binding with thumbs

But all such prints with only a selection of the 66 books of the given Word of God, we can hardly really call a Bible. But the multiple versions published including the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 of the New Testament, we can find is mostly caused by publishers seeing an opportunity to fill their till. Some used the popular names for it whilst others went back to the writings using the name they could find by the Gospel writers themselves. The names given to the Old Testament in the writings of the New are “the scriptures” (Matthew 21:42), “scripture” (2 Peter 1:20), “the holy scriptures” (Romans 1:2), “the law” (John 12:34), “the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms” (Luke 24:44), “the law and the prophets” (Matthew 5:17), “the old covenant” (2 Corinthians 3:14, R.V.).

Concerning “the scriptures” we can think of any religious texts but in our next chapter we look at the ‘revolt’ in bible publishing world from the 1990ies onwards.

 

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Find also

  1. Reader’s Digest Bible
  2. A Curiosity – the Readers Digest Bible
  3. The New Century Version (English Version for the Deaf, Easy-to-Read Version, International Children’s Bible, Everyday Bible)
  4. Website of the World Bible Translation Center: Bible League International
  5. World Bible Translation Center God’s Word or God’s Words? By Ervin Bishop, Senior Translation Consultant, World Bible Translation Center. Bishop’s article defends the “dynamic equivalence” approach by arguing that “the Bible is the Message of God expressed in the words of men.” (Also here.)
  6. New Living Translation
  7. The Book NLT
  8. The Scriptures (Online version)

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Preceding articles:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Additional reading

  1. Creator and Blogger God 8 A Blog of a Book 2 Holy One making Scriptures Holy
  2. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  3. Book of books and great masterpiece
  4. Absolute Basics to Reading the Bible
  5. Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers
  6. Finding and Understanding Words and MeaningsArcheological Findings the name of God YHWHMeaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls for Judaism and ChristianityDead Sea scrolls at Drents Museum in Assen
  7. Looking at notes of Samuel Ward and previous Bible translation efforts in English
  8. Americans really thinking the Messiah Christ had an English name
  9. The NIV and the Name of God
  10. Wycliffe Associates supporting underground Bible translators
  11. HalleluYah Scriptures
  12. World’s tiniest bible to be presented at Israel Museum for 50th anniversary

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Recommended reading

  1. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 1: Introduction + Is the King James Version the “only inspired Bible”? + What about the claim that the 1611 edition of the King James Bible alone is “the Word of God”? + What About the Ancient Manuscripts of the Bible?
  2. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 2: False or Irrelevant Claims About the KJV [King James Version] and New Translations
  3. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 3: Do Modern Versions Corrupt the Purity of God’s Word? #1 The Deity of Christ
  4. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 4: Do Modern Versions Corrupt the Purity of God’s Word? + #2 The Deity of Christ
  5. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 5: Were There Heretics and Occultists on the Translation Committees of the New Versions?
  6. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 6 : Are Modern Versions Less Readable than the King James Version (KJV)? + Riplinger’s Errors on the NKJV

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Further reading
  1. The Modern English Version — First Thoughts
  2. In defense of smaller Bibles
  3. ESV Single Column Reference Bible
  4. Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 22)
  5. Plans and circumstances -September 5, 1982
  6. Christian Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Bible
  7. Muslim Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Qu’ran
  8. Lent: Let the Bible readings begin!
  9. Make the Right Choice
  10. protection
  11. It’s A Matter Of Life and Death!
  12. A New Bible Translation Classification System
  13. KJV – King James Version available in OneVerse Bible app
  14. NASB – The New American Standard Bible available in OneVerse Bible
  15. Which Bible Version can I Trust?
  16. Which Bible Should I Use?
  17. It Pleased The Father
  18. An answer to YouTuber WWUTT
  19. Differences in KJV editions
  20. Why I believe the King James Bible is God’s word preserved in the English language…
  21. Hungry? Don’t Read KJV!
  22. The NIV: the ‘holey’ bible
  23. Catholic Doctrine in New Versions
  24. The ESV “contrary to” Syntax
  25. New Age Deism
  26. Understanding Scripture
  27. Translation Principles
  28. An Argument about Bible Versions with Christians
  29. The Logic of Perfection
  30. Where’s “Clayton’s Bible”?
  31. The Action Bible
  32. The Received Text
  33. Questioning what God has said. 
  34. How I read the bible
  35. The Deutero-canonical Books of the Bible
  36. Which is the best English Bible?
  37. Is the KJV superior to the originals?
  38. New Version Errors
  39. ‘Edgy’ Bible Translations Often Overlooked
  40. A Succinct Critique of the Amplified Version of the Bible

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Hosea Say What?

To remember:

  • The Holy Family goes to Egypt = Matthew connects the prophetic dots Hosea 11:1-4:
  • Hosea = speaking for God = harkening back to the Exodus =remembering Israel little toddler of a nation > God delivered them out of bondage in Egypt.
  • God called His son Israel out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery = Hosea 11 is about.
  • Matthew uses the Old Testament in his Gospel => goes to great lengths to show that Jesus’ birth, life, and death = rooted firmly in the Old Testament
  • Jesus born of a virgin = fulfilling Isaiah 7:14
  • born in Bethlehem = fulfilling Micah 5:1-2
  • Jesus sought out to be killed by Herod = fulfilling Jeremiah 31:15
  • Jesus preceded by John preparing the way = fulfilling Isaiah 40:3
  • Jesus healed diseases = fulfilling Isaiah 53:4
  • Jesus spoke through parables = fulfilling Psalm 78:2
  • Jesus came to Jerusalem riding on a donkey = fulfilling Zechariah 9:9
  • “fulfill.” = Greek plēroō = to fill up +=> Jesus brings Scriptures to their intended goal => incomplete revelation to and through Israel has been brought to completion.
  • ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand” = “time has been filled up and the kingdom is here”
  • Jesus’ flight to and return from Egypt was filling up Hosea 11:1.
  • filling up the redemptive historical purposes of the nation
  • Jesus is the embodiment of Israel => the true and faithful Israel
  • Jesus = new Genesis (New World) => life embodies the new Exodus
  • Jesus fulfilling Israel’s history + bringing it to a climax
  • Jesus = faithful Son called out of Egypt, filling up what was lacking in the first faithless son, Israel.
  • first Israel, God’s son, broke the covenant and deserved God’s wrath =>  God his only begotten Son Jesus Christ == Matthew 3:17, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
  • Jesus Christ = the one who came to complete all that Israel was designed to perform.

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Preceding articles:

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

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

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night

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

Matthew 2:13-15 – Escaping the Slaughter by a Flight to Egypt

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  • 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.
  • Keeping Promises: The Virgin Birth (pointtolife.wordpress.com)
    The virgin birth, the fact that Jesus Christ was born to a woman who was a virgin, (meaning she never had relations with a man (Luke 1:34)), is a fundamental doctrine of true Christianity for a number of reasons. First, the Old Testament not only foretells the virgin birth, the New Testament proclaims it. Secondly, it is the fulfilled prophecy in scripture that is used to validate the Bible as the Word of God. Third, the virgin birth is fundamental to the sinless nature of Christ. (Had Jesus been born of the union of  a man and a woman, He would have been a sinner like the rest of us, and thus incapable of paying for our sins on the cross.)
  • Christmas Mystery – The Virgin Birth! Part 1 (insideprocess.wordpress.com)
    the most important aspect of the Virgin birth is this: God gave us an absolute favour – a favour you can freely reenact or walk into this season…
  • Wonder Unto Others! (upwordsms.wordpress.com)
  • His Birth and Our New Birth (mississippipep.wordpress.com)
    I cannot enter the realm of the kingdom of God unless I am born again from above by a birth totally unlike physical birth. “You must be born again” (John 3:7). This is not a command, but a fact based on the authority of God. The evidence of the new birth is that I yield myself so completely to God that “Christ is formed” in me. And once “Christ is formed” in me, His nature immediately begins to work through me.
  • Is God with us? (quotesthoughtsrandom.wordpress.com)
    God sent Jesus and God is with us.
  • Isaiah prophesied the birth of Jesus (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
    As you read through the prophecies of Isaiah about the birth of Jesus you will realize that Jesus was born with a mission. Jesus Christ came on earth born of a woman, not for his own pleasure but to do the will of His Father in Heaven. Happy are those who believe that God sent Jesus to take away the sins of the world.

    Isaiah under the influence of the Spirit of God could so confidently speak about the Messiah. Yes, it needed confidence as Isaiah was speaking about Jesus hundreds of years before Jesus could be born and manifest as a man on earth though he is the Son of God.

  • The Old Testament Promise Of Christ (1) (thechristiangazette.wordpress.com)
    You might wonder why faith is so important as we study these prophecies and their fulfillments.   Well, as we progress, we are going to see that this study is based upon an assumption that God’s Word is absolutely truthful…  How do we know that these prophecies were actually received years before their fulfillment?  It is based upon our belief that the authors of the Old Testament are the genuine authors and the time of their writings is as described in the Word.  How do we know that the fulfillments of these prophecies actually took place? It is based upon the trustworthiness of the Word’s historical accounts of the birth of Christ and physical lineage of Christ.
  • Long To Look (biblicalnotes.com)
    Peter wrote, “It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look” (1 Peter 1:12, ESV). Amazing, that angels “long to look” into God’s work regarding human salvation. In that verse, “long” is translated from a Greek word (epithumeo) which means to desire passionately. And, “look” is translated from a Greek word (parakupto) which conveys the image of someone stooping down to look at something. Thus, the “good news” of the gospel is so intriguing that angels have a keen desire to stoop down and see what God is doing for you and me as he offers salvation through Jesus’ blood.
  • The Bible And Cosmology by Dr. R. Laird Harris (creationconcept.wordpress.com)
    The world-view of the Scripture is mythological and is therefore
    unacceptable to modern man whose thinking has been shape
    d by science and is therefore no longer mythological. Modern
    man always makes use of technical means which are the result
    of science. In case of illness modern man has recourse
    to physicians, to medical science. In case of economic and
    political affairs, he makes use of the results of psychological,
    social, economic and political sciences, and so on. Nobody
    reckons with direct intervention by transcendent powers… man
    acknowledges as reality only such phenomena or events as are
    comprehensible within the framework of the rational order of the
    universe. He does not acknowledge miracles because they do
    not fit into this lawful order. When a strange or marvellous accident
    occurs, he does not rest until he has found a rational
    cause. The contrast between the ancient world-view of the Bible
    and the modern worldview is the contrast between two ways of
    thinking, the mythological and the scientific.

Christian Reformed Ink Archives

By. Kevin DeYoung

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” (Matthew 2:13-15)

That last verse has caused plenty of consternation over the years.  The Holy Family goes to Egypt, and this somehow fulfills Hosea’s reference to Israel’s exodus? It looks like Matthew is connecting the prophetic dots by the slimmest of connections.

View original post 1,641 more words

Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament

Many people do think Jesus already existed before the people who were telling he was going to come. Lots of Christians do believe Jesus existed already before the world was created. They think because God knew Christ Jesus already before Adam was that Jesus should have been there before Abraham.

They forget that God already knows everything. He also knows you already from the beginning of the world, but we are sure that you did not exist already at the beginning of the world, idem ditto for us and Jesus.  What is very important to remember about the birth of the Messiah, the Christos or Christ was that he was foreseen by the Most High already very early in the existence of the universe.

Jesus story of Jesus’ birth does not begin in the New Testament. In fact, it goes back all the way up to creation.

Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in union with Christ,+as he chose us to be in union with him* before the founding of the world, that we should be holy and unblemished+ before him in love. For he foreordained us+ to be adopted as his own sons+ through Jesus Christ, according to his good pleasure and will,+in praise of his glorious undeserved kindness+ that he kindly bestowed on us by means of his beloved one.+By means of him we have the release by ransom through the blood of that one,+ yes, the forgiveness of our trespasses,+ according to the riches of his undeserved kindness. (Ephesians 1:1-3,4-7)

File:Formella battistero 1 adamo e eva.JPG

Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, or at the Gates of Paradise.

We also were foreseen from the beginning to become in union with Christ. That is: God saw us already with Christ. God had chosen the Messiah and us to be in love before the creation of the universe to be holy and without defect in his presence. But that does not mean we already existed, nor that Jesus existed. From by the beginning we were planned by God to be His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God had beforehand ordained, that we should walk in them.  Even when we would not deserve it and God knew already what we were going to do right or wrong, and could see where we would fail, He was willing to provide a solution for are weakness. After Adam and Eve sinned God gave them the opportunity to try live a better life, but also knew they would not succeed on their own. Therefore he promised them and those who would come after them, a possibility to have an end of the penalty of sin. But everybody should be accountable for their wrong-going themselves.

Everything started going wrong in the Garden of Eden, where man did find God had too many rights. The first man and woman disputed the right of having all knowledge to God. By becoming adversaries of the Most High they got their penalty and we got their deficiencies or imperfections also to live with. Right after the fall into sin, God revealed  His first promise of the coming Saviour to the First Adam. Jehovah God told declared war between the adversary of Him and the woman, between the offspring of all the adversaries and hers. Woman was going to be multiplied by her pains in childbirth and because the man listened to his wife and ate from the tree that God commanded them not to eat from, ‘Don’t eat from this tree,’ the very ground became cursed because of them and getting food from the ground will be as painful as having babies is for the wife, both having to be working in pain all their life long. Until they return to that ground themselves, dead and buried. They and we started out as dirt, and shall end up dirt or dust.

“14  So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” 16  To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” 17  To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”” (Genesis 3:14-19 NIV)

“So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12 NIV)

This undeserved kindness he caused to abound toward us in all wisdom and understanding* by making known to us the sacred secret+ of his will. It is according to his good pleasure that he himself purposed 10 for an administration* at the full limit of the appointed times, to gather all things together in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth.+ Yes, in him 11 with whom we are in union and were assigned as heirs,+ having been foreordained according to the purpose of the one who accomplishes all things as he decides according to his will, 12 so that we who have been first to hope in the Christ should serve for the praise of his glory. 13 But you also hoped in him after you heard the word of truth, the good news about your salvation. After you believed, you were sealed+ by means of him with the promised holy spirit, 14 which is a token in advance* of our inheritance,+ for the purpose of releasing God’s own possession+ by a ransom,+ to his glorious praise. (Ephesians 1:8-14 NWT)

By this undeserved kindness you have been saved through faith,+ and this is not of your own doing; rather, it is God’s gift. No, it is not a result of works,+ so that no one should have grounds for boasting. 10 We are God’s handiwork* and were created+ in union with Christ Jesus+ for good works, which God determined in advance for us to walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 NWT)

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Blessing of Abraham and promise to him and his people. – :Book of Genesis Chapter 18-15 (Bible Illustrations by Sweet Media)

Throughout the ages people did hear their parents talking about that promise of the Creator. We also can read about the continued message given to many people of God, like the man and friend of God Abram/Abraham. (James 2:23) Though the many promises were made specifically to Abraham, God in His grace is willing to extend the same blessings to all who understand and believe as he did.

“The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”” (Galatians 3:8 NIV)

“1  The LORD {Jehovah, God} had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”” (Genesis 12:1-3 NIV)

The world had to come to live under the rulership of the one promised in the Garden of Eden, the Christ or Messiah.

“10  “‘So do not fear, O Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, O Israel,’ declares the LORD. ‘I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no-one will make him afraid. 11 I am with you and will save you,’ declares the LORD. ‘Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.’” (Jeremiah 30:10-11 NIV)

“31 “The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. 33 “This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will a man teach his neighbour, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”” (Jeremiah 31:31-34 NIV)

“21 and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. 22 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. 23 They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offences, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God. 24 “‘My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. 25 They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there for ever, and David my servant will be their prince for ever. 26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them for ever. 27 My dwelling-place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 28 Then the nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them for ever.’”” (Ezekiel 37:21-28 NIV)

“I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.” (Romans 11:1 NIV)

“14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree! 25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” 28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs,” (Romans 11:14-28 NIV)

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David between Wisdom and Prophecy – Paris psalter (BnF MS Grec 139), folio 7v

Also Moses came to know about the root or offshoot, which had to grow later, at the time when the world was ripe and there would be somebody who was willing to live totally according to the measurements of the Only One God. (Genesis 12, 17, & 22; Deuteronomy 18). The world saw a young simple man, God’s servant, becoming a king, but unfortunately he did not manage to stay truthful to his One God. But king David repented and still could be found right in the eyes of God to be the seed of which the root would come in to blossoming. (2 Samuel 7, Psalm 132).

“11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies. “‘The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” (2 Samuel 7:11-13 NIV)

“The LORD swore an oath to David, a sure oath that he will not revoke: “One of your own descendants I will place on your throne—” (Psalms 132:11 NIV)

In Abraham all families of the earth cam to be blessed. (Galatians 3:8 NIV) so they could find hope in what the many minor and major prophets had to tell (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Micah, and Malachi).

Many times in history over and over again the people of God forgot about the promises of their Superior Master, the Supreme Being. Elohim, the Most High was more than once placed aside for lower gods. The God of gods had to see how often they rebelled and served other gods, and sought their security not in the Almighty Jehovah God, the Most High, but instead through earthly alliances.

Of old people got to know that the Divine Creator God always kept His promises. From time immemorial God has always been faithful bringing Israel a remembrance of Who it was yet to come, the Seed promised to David, the Promised Seed of long ago through many of the prophets.

God spoke through the prophet Isaiah that the Most High Master was going to give His people a sign anyway. the world had to look out for a girl who was a virgin but would get pregnant without having contact with a man. The son she was going to get would be God His sign, His Word or His saying becoming flesh and at last the fulfilment of the promise would be a reality and bring The Promise of God under the people on earth. At last there will be a man who will be prepared not to do his own will but the Will of God. Because he could put himself aside and be humble enough to do the full will of his heavenly Father this man could really be called the Immanuel (God-With-Us). Than, and only then, there would come an innocent child on the world of which everybody could say that it was been born for us! Then would be the moment that there was the marvellous gift of God, by the presence of a son — for us! but the prophesies would not end at his birth. That Jewish man was not only going to give up his life for all man. He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings, assures us God. By the voice of the prophet Isaiah we get to know that the man born from this simple virgin shall rule from the historic David throne over that promised kingdom. He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing and keep it going With fair dealing and right living, beginning now and lasting always. The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies will do all this.

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14 NIV)

“6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for ever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV)

“23 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. 24 I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the LORD have spoken.” (Ezekiel 34:23-24 NIV)

“”But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”” (Micah 5:2 NIV)

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The Young lady chosen by god to be with child of the Most Highest – Annunciation – Jungfrau der Verkündigung – Masolino da Panicale (1383–1440) – The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei.

So when the time came ready to have the Word of God, spoken in the Garden of Eden to become reality, Jehovah God send an angel to the earth, in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. God had chosen a young women from the Essene Jewish sect, knowing that she was a real devout woman of God. To her appeared God’s messenger, the angel Gabriel in the Galilean village of Nazareth. This still then virgin Miriam (Mary/Maria), engaged to be married to a man descended from David, was posed with a very serious problem which could cost her life by stoning. The young craftsman called Yosef (Joseph), who belonged to the House of David, the tribe which was to foresee the King of kings, the promised Messiah could break his engagement, but he believed that his fiancée was truthful and sincere clean in the eyes of the Most High. He also found her beautiful with God’s beauty, beautiful inside and out! We do not know if he would have had doubts that God was still with her. but he also could see that his fiancée was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like she had received.

Mary was told not having to fear. God had a surprise for her. She was to become pregnant and to give birth to a son and call his name Jesus. She also was told that her child will be great, be called ‘Son of the Highest.’  and that The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David giving them to rule Jacob’s house forever — no end, ever, to his kingdom.

No wonder Mary questioned the angel, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.” The angel answered that it would be by God His Power that she will be with child. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Highest hover over you; Therefore, the child you bring to birth will be called Holy, Son of God.”

Once more in history Jehovah proved that nothing is impossible with God. He only wants to have God loving people and in Miriam or Mary (how she is better know today) God found someone who was willing to be His maid, ready to serve. So she was willing to accept God’s offer of being with child.

“26  In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.” 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.” (Luke 1:26-38 NIV)

It was only then with Mary then behold the fulfilment of the promise with the birth of our saviour in Bethlehem came to be (Luke 2). at that moment we can find that the Word of God, God His promise from the time in the Garden of Eden,  at last became reality, and came onto the earth by this child of human flesh and blood. The apostle Paul declares the fulfilment of all the Old Testament promises in Jesus.

“”From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Saviour Jesus, as he promised.” (Acts 13:23 NIV)

“26 “Brothers, children of Abraham, and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognise Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. 28 Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he was seen by those who had travelled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people. 32 “We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: “‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.’” (Acts 13:26-33 NIV)

“38 “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:38-39 NIV)

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Please read also:

  1. The Real Christ
  2. God’s promises to us in suffering
  3. A “seed” for the blessing of all mankind would come through the family of Abraham
  4. Around pre-existence of Christ
  5. About a man who changed history of humankind
  6. The Word being a quality or aspect of God Himself
  7. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  8. Jesus begotten Son of God #7 A matter of the Future
  9. Jesus begotten Son of God #8 Found Divinely Created not Incarnated
  10. Jesus begotten Son of God #9 Two millennia ago conceived or begotten
  11. Jesus begotten Son of God #10 Coming down spirit or flesh seed of Eve
  12. Jesus begotten Son of God #11 Existence and Genesis Raising up
  13. Jesus begotten Son of God #13 Pre-existence excluding virginal birth of the Only One Transposed
  14. Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
  15. Jesus begotten Son of God #15 Son of God Originating in Mary
  16. Jesus begotten Son of God #16 Prophet to be heard
  17. Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
  18. Jesus begotten Son of God #18 Believing in inhuman or human person
  19. Jesus begotten Son of God #19 Compromising fact
  20. Jesus begotten Son of God #20 Before and After
  21. The Beginning of the life of Jesus Christ
  22. The Seed Of The Woman Bruised
  23. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  24. He may found a kingdom and empire which shall be literally ‘universal’

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  • Jésus – Christ (chaosmatriarch.wordpress.com)
    The preacher was so seriously trying to make us think of hell, his glasses moved rythmically on his nose, he had quelque chose of a baboon in his countenance. This is Hell. Didn’t like this preacher too much, couldn’t concentrate on my book with all his Jesus talk. John dos Passos.
  • Jesus Christ was a liberal, despite what right-wing Christians think. (smd12364.newsvine.com)
    Have you ever wondered why right-wing Christians keep saying they love Jesus Christ, even though their toxic beliefs have nothing to do with what Jesus said, taught, or stood for?
  • Birth of Jesus Christ (pbsministries.wordpress.com)
    As we reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ, let us share our love and heart with those less fortunate, with the widows and the orphans. Let us light up someone’s heart this Christmas with joy and peace and goodwill. Let us remember the weak and the incapacitated, for Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive. Our Christian walk is not about us, it about who we can bless. The Bible tells us, He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.  And He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.
  • Samuel Adams re: Jesus Christ (tannngl.wordpress.com)
    I conceive we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world . . .
  • Charles Stanley – Jesus Christ, Our Messiah (mydelightandmycounsellors.wordpress.com) > Charles Stanley – Jesus Christ, Our Messiah
    Jesus didn’t go around flaunting His power or greatness. Since He had come to do the Father’s will (John 6:38), redeeming the lost was His priority and purpose. However, the Lord didn’t hide His identity from the world either. When necessary, Jesus clearly identified Himself as the Messiah.
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    Some modern thinkers would like to marginalize Jesus as simply a good man with a message of love. But He was the first to proclaim Himself as more than that. He is the virgin-born Son of God, who came to bear the sins of mankind and die on the cross. He is the Messiah.
  • The Attributes’ of the One honored at Christmas… (audacityandsupposition.com)
    For Jesus, spiritual conception occurred at his baptism. There the two halves of God’s spirit joined to produce a new, spiritually conceived, Son of God.
  • The Political and Legal Significance of Christmas (freedomoutpost.com) thinks it were early Christians who became distracted by arguments that  latched onto a pre-existing pagan holiday to establish the date of Christmas, but the early Christians never celebrated the birth of Christ, which was by the way on October 17, 4BCE. when the pagan ideas of Trinity was taken it was only a small step to take over other pagan traditions of which many churches are full of today.
  • Jesus Christ Is Our Healer! (spyghana.com)
    Today yet to like it or not is a unique day in your life. It does not matter the situation you find yourself, what people are saying or have said about you, the pedigree or fame of colleagues you started with, the illness that has taken control over you for long time, for you are still an important fellow in the sight and plans of God not to ordinary mortal homo sapiens (human beings) because being alive today in advance forms part of God’s predestined greatness for you.
  • Jesus Christ (crossquotes.org)
    We may note in passing that He was never regarded as a mere moral teacher. He did not produce that effect on any of the people who actually met Him. He produced mainly three results-Hatred-Terror-Adoration. There was no trace of people expressing mild admiration.    C.S. Lewis
  • Only let me get to Jesus Christ! (thehandmaid.wordpress.com)
    It is not that I want merely to be called a Christian, but to actually be one. Yes, if I prove to be one, then I can have the name…

Hellenistic influences

The early days of Christianity

2.1. Hellenistic influences

An ingenious and learned school, formed at Alexandria, had contrived, by a system of allegorical interpretation, to infuse Platonism into the Old Testament, the school at Jerusalem had been growing increasingly rigid, and interdicted any such daring exegesis.

In the first centuries of our current calendar the influence of the Greek culture in the Roman Realm was still noticeable and guarded Greece its cultural inheritance one of the most important universities of the Roman Realm which stood in Athens.

At the Athenian schools also Christians, like Prohæresios, the sophist, were found under its members.

Sophists (sophistēs, meaning “wise-ist, one who does wisdom,” and σοφός, sophós means “wise man”) were a category of traveling teachers who specialized in using the tools of philosophy and rhetoric for the purpose of teaching arete — excellence, or virtue — predominantly to young statesmen and nobility. As itinerant intellectuals they taught courses in various subjects, speculated about the nature of language and culture and employed rhetoric to achieve their purposes, generally to persuade or convince others which could be of good use for the youngsters to be able to have their say in the official meetings or ekklèsia (Ecclesia)

Many sophists’ questioned the existence and roles of traditional deities and investigated into the nature of the heavens and the earth, which prompted a popular reaction against them. The attacks of some of their followers against Socrates prompted a vigorous condemnation from his followers, including Plato the most famous student of Socrates, and Xenophon. The sophists became considered greedy instructors who used rhetorical sleight-of-hand and ambiguities of language in order to deceive, or to support fallacious reasoning. according to some the sophist was not concerned with truth and justice, but instead looked for power.

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The martyrdom of Saint (Pope) Sixtus II and his deacons. Martyre de saint Sixte II et de ses diacres. Cote: Français 185 , Fol. 96v . Vies de saints, France, Paris – 14th century. – Richard de Montbaston et collaborateurs

Sixtus II, or Xystos, who suffered martyrdom in Rome about 258 C.T., also may have studied in Athens and is called “the son of an Athenian philosopher”. But the most noted men who frequented the schools here were Basil from Kæsareia, and Gregory from Nazianzos, about the middle of the fourth century. These schools of philosophy kept paganism alive for four centuries, but by the fifth century the ancient religion of Elevsis and Athens had practically succumbed. In the Council of Nikæa there was present a bishop from Athens. In 529 the schools of philosophy were closed. From that date Christianity had no rival in Athens.[1]

Jesus clearly taught that Jehovah is “the only true God” and that the human soul is mortal. (John 17:3; Matthew 10:28) Yet, with the death of the apostles and the weakening of the organizational structure, such clear teachings were corrupted as pagan doctrines infiltrated Christianity.

A key factor was the subtle influence of Greek philosophy. Explains The New Encyclopædia Britannica: “From the middle of the 2nd century AD Christians who had some training in Greek philosophy began to feel the need to express their faith in its terms, both for their own intellectual satisfaction and in order to convert educated pagans.” Once philosophically minded persons became Christians, it did not take long for Greek philosophy and “Christianity” to become inseparably linked.
As a result of this union, pagan doctrines such as the Trinity and the immortality of the soul seeped into tainted Christianity. These teachings, however, go back much farther than the Greek philosophers. The Greeks actually acquired them from older cultures, for there is evidence of such teachings in ancient Egyptian and Babylonian religions. As pagan doctrines continued to infiltrate Christianity, other Scriptural teachings were also distorted or abandoned.

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Hermes Trismegistus

The question how the Son was related to the Father (Himself acknowledged on all hands to be the one Supreme Deity), gave rise, between the years 60 and 200 C.T. to a number of Theosophic systems, called generally Gnosticism, and having for their authors Basilides, Valentinus, apologist and ascetic Tatian the Syrian or the Assyrian , writer of the Diatessaron (a  prominent Gospel harmony) and other Greek speculators.[2] According to some, it was through Gnosticism that pagan influences slipped into Christian worship. Gnosticism, they assert, served somewhat as a bridge between paganism and Christianity.[3] The Gnostic systems revealed more theosophy than theology and in the Jewish Kabbala is found a theosophy mixed with various forms of magic and occultism. The Kabbalah, which includes the tracts named Sefer Yetzirah, The Zohar, Pardes Rimonim, and Eitz Chaim, seeks to define the nature of the universe and the human being, the nature and purpose of existence, and various other ontological questions. It also presents methods to aid understanding of these concepts and to thereby attain spiritual realisation.
The Hellenistic main source is the Corpus Hermeticum or the Hermetic Corpus, a collection of texts attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, which became again of importance in the New Age. Therein astrology and other occult sciences and spiritual renewal are addressed. Trismegistus may be a representation of the syncretic combination of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth.

Alexandria was full of Jews, the literary as well as commercial centre of the East, and the connecting link between the East and the West. There the largest libraries were collected; there the Jewish mind came into close contact with the Greek, and the religion of Moses with the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. There Philo wrote, while Christ taught in Jerusalem and Galilee, and his works were destined to exert a great influence on Christian exegesis through the Alexandrian fathers.

During the fourth century Egypt was going to give to the church the Arian heresy, the Athanasian orthodoxy, and the monastic piety of St. Antony and St. Pachomius, which spread with irresistible force over Christendom.

The theological literature of Egypt was chiefly Greek. Most of the early manuscripts of the Greek Scriptures — including probably the invaluable Sinaitic and Vatican MSS. — were written in Alexandria. But already in the second century the Scriptures were translated into the vernacular language, in three different dialects. What remains of these versions is of considerable weight in ascertaining the earliest text of the Greek Testament.

To the Jews, that were the mostly receptive for Hellenic influences, belonged the priests. For many of them meant the accepting of the Hellenism a manner to have Judaism going with its time.

While many Jews accepted the Hellenism, a new group calling themselves Hasidim or Chassidim — devout people (literally “loving kindness”, diverted of the Hebrew חסידות (chassidoet), meaning “piety”) — encouraged people to keep stricter obedience to the Law of Moses. The first group of Hasidim, also called the Assideans or Hasideans (the Anglicized form, derived through the Greek asidaioi, of the Hebrew Hasidim, “the pious”, men endowed with grace (Psalm 39:5; 148:14)), were an ancient Jewish sect that developed between 300 B.C.E. and 175 B.C.E. They were the most rigid adherents of Judaism in contradistinction to those Jews who were beginning to be affected by Hellenistic influences. The Hasidim led the resistance to the Hellenizing campaign of Antiochus IV of Syria, and they figured largely in the early phases of the revolt of the Maccabees or Machabees, Jewish family of the 2d and 1st cent. B.C.E. that brought about a restoration of Jewish political and religious life. They are also called Hasmoneans or Asmoneans after their ancestor, Hashmon. Their ritual strictness has caused some to see them as forerunners of the Pharisees. Throughout the Talmudic period numerous figures were referred to as Hasidim. [4]

The Hellenization of the Jews in the pre-Hasmonean period was not universally resisted. Generally, the Jews accepted foreign rule when they were only required to pay tribute, and otherwise allowed to govern themselves internally. Nevertheless, Jews were divided between those favoring Hellenization and those opposing it, and were divided over allegiance to the Ptolemies or Seleucids. When the High Priest Simon II died in 175 BCE, conflict broke out between supporters of his son Onias III (who opposed Hellenization, and favored the Ptolemies) and his son Jason (who favored Hellenization, and favored the Seleucids). A period of political intrigue followed, with priests such as Menelaus bribing the king to win the High Priesthood, and accusations of murder of competing contenders for the title. The result was a brief civil war. The Tobiads, a philo-Hellenistic party, succeeded in placing Jason into the powerful position of High Priest. He established an arena for public games close by the Temple. (Ginzberg, Lewis. “The Tobiads and Oniads.”. Retrieved 2007-01-23. Jewish Encyclopedia.) Author Lee I. Levine notes, “The ‘piece de resistance’ of Judaean Hellenization, and the most dramatic of all these developments, occurred in 175 BCE, when the high priest Jason converted Jerusalem into a Greek polis replete with gymnasium and ephebeion (2 Maccabees 4). Whether this step represents the culmination of a 150-year process of Hellenization within Jerusalem in general, or whether it was only the initiative of a small coterie of Jerusalem priests with no wider ramifications, has been debated for decades.” (Levine, Lee I. Judaism and Hellenism in antiquity: conflict or confluence? Hendrickson Publishers, 1998. pp. 38–45. Via “The Impact of Greek Culture on Normative Judaism.”)

The ordinary people were disgusted by the Hellenised priests and chose more and more party for the Chassidim. There broke a period of martyrdom when Jews in the whole country were forced to go along or to settle with pagan happenings and offerings or to die.[5]

A gold multiple of “Unconquered Constantine” with Sol Invictus, struck in 313. The use of Sol’s image appealed to both the educated citizens of Gaul, who would recognize in it Apollo’s patronage of Augustus and the arts; and to Christians, who found solar monotheism less objectionable than the traditional pagan pantheon

Constantine (C., Flavius Valerius Constantinus) was during the decline period of the Roman Realm the Big Emperor (306–337 C. T.) and tried to merge Christianity with particular pagan customs and doctrines. He undertook the first steps to make this merger religion as the official state religion. Accordingly Greece became a part of Christendom. He moved the capital of the realm of Rome to Byzantium, which he named in honour of himself Constantinople.

In 321 C. T. Constantine ordained that the Sunday (Lat.: dies Solis, an old title that was connected with astrology and sun worshipping, not Sabbatum [Sabbath] or dies Domini [day of the Lord]) would be a day of rest for everybody, except for the farmers. Constantine moreover placed Sunday under the protection of the State. Constantine speaks not of the day of the Lord, but of the everlasting day of the sun as the believers in Mithras also observed Sunday as well as Christmas.

The winged sun was an ancient (3rd millennium BC) symbol of Horus, later identified with Ra

Belief in the old polytheism had been shaken; in more stolid natures, as Roman Emperor Diocletian, it showed its strength only in the form of superstition, magic, and divination. Probably many of the more noble-minded recognized the truth contained in Judaism and Christianity, but believed that they could appropriate it without being obliged on that account to renounce the beauty of other worships. Such a man was the Emperor Alexander Severus; another thus minded was Aurelian, whose opinions were confirmed by Christians like Paul of Samosata. Not only Gnostics and other heretics, but Christians who considered themselves faithful, held in a measure to the worship of the sun. Constantine cherished this mistaken belief.[6]


[1] Christian Athens, Catholic Encyclopaedia, New York 1908

[2] Arianism., Catholic Encyclopaedia, New York 1908

[3] Notion and characteristics, Catholic Encyclopaedia, New York 1908

[4] In the 18th Century Eastern Europethis movement would be taken up again for the third time by Rabbi Yisroel ben Eliezer (1698-1760) also known asIsrael Baal Shem Tov as a reaction against overly legalistic Judaism.

[5] S. Lieberman, Hellenism in Jewish Palestine (1962); S. G. Kramer, God and Man in the Sefer Hasidim (1966); A. L. Lowenkopf, The Hasidim (1973).

[6] The original Catholic Encyclopedia

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Some Jews are known to have engaged in non-surgical foreskin restoration in order to join the dominant cultural practice of socializing naked in the gymnasium, where their circumcisionwould have been a social stigma.

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Previous: The early days of Christianity 1.2. Considered as a danger 1.2.2. Minimizing the power of God’s Force the Holy Spirit

Next: The early days of Christianity 2.2.1. Politics and power first priority

  • contemplative political philosophy (acourseaboutnothing.wordpress.com)
    Contemplation has always been at the heart of liberal education.  Contemplation was known as practice, the practice of political philosophy.  All who had intimations of Socrates’ presence and purpose knew it.  Contemplation was (and is) an activity of mind-body.  Athletics (what the Greeks called gymnastics) was no less education than music and the performing arts.  Together these formed an organic whole in the image of a human creature.
  • Local Deities? Mystery Cults and Osiris and Isis. Soul and Spirit. (jamesbradfordpate.wordpress.com)
    Koester says that “The old Greek religion was a religion of city gods”, in which gods were the patrons of cities.  He says on pages 164-165 that “None of these cults would ever claim to be a world religion since the belief that deities were bound to particular holy places was still very much alive.”  But Koester narrates that people moved around and economics, politics, and science became increasingly universal, and so people were becoming dissatisfied with local deities.
    +
    In Christianity, Jesus dies and rises again, whereas it is not said in the myth of Osiris that Osiris was resurrected, but Osiris after his death goes to the realm of the dead to rule, while his son takes charge of this world.
    +
    Koester makes interesting points about the goddess Isis.  For one, he says that the woman in Revelation 12 resembles Isis, which stood out to me, as one who was raised in a denomination that tried to disassociate from the “pagan” elements of the “world’s” Christianity.  Second, according to Koester on page 189, Isis in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses 11.5.1-3 is treated as the “one and only god” and “ruler of the the universe” (Koester’s words).  As I look at the passage itself, there seems to be therein an acknowledgement that other gods exist, but there’s also an affirmation that Isis is “The single form that fuses all gods and goddesses” (the passage’s words).
  • Baptism of Pagan Practices (bythepen.me)
    Mount Carmel was previously a pagan site. In the Old Testament, we see that it was there that Yahwhey and Elijah took on Jezebel and the priests of Baal. Anti-Catholic conspiracy theorists eat this up, of course, but in reality, history has unfolded with Our Lord as the victor. This is just one of the several instances where that ancient serpent has been “crushed by the heel of Our Lady” – one of Christ’s most powerful tools.
    +
    there were bound to have been some parallels of Christian truth among pre-Christian beliefs and rituals. The early Christians were well aware of this and sometimes used it to their advantage in order to convert the pagans. In fact, St. Paul does this very thing in the Acts of the Apostles. I think of Paul as the father of the interpolation tactic described there. Unlike the Twelve, he was well educated in Hellenistic as well as Jewish law and religion, which is why I believe Christ chose him with a special purpose as “Apostle to the Gentiles”. He was a huckleberry who knew his stuff and how to use it to reach them.
  • Ancient Hellenistic Harbor Discovered in Acre, Israel – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
    An ancient harbor where warships may have docked 2,300 years ago has been discovered by archaeologists in the Israeli port city of Acre.The harbor, the largest and most important found in Israel from the Hellenistic period, was uncovered during archaeological excavations carried out as part of a seawall conservation project, the Israel Antiquities Authority said today. Among the finds were large mooring stones incorporated in the quay and used to secure sailing vessels, the IAA said.
    +
    The excavation will continue in those sections of the harbor that extend in the direction of the sea, the IAA said. The archaeologists will try to clarify if there is a connection between the destruction of the harbor and the Hasmonean uprising in 167 B.C., the destruction wrought by Ptolemy in 312 B.C. or some other event.
  • We owe a cock to Asclepius (ins2ition.wordpress.com)
    SO were the final, last Words said by Socrates.
    No one could help by then, Even Hippocrates.
    if YOU’VE said it once you’ve said One thousand times.
    I Don’t only say it because that line rhymes.
  • Live as the world wishes you to and accept all events: Stoic Philosophy (by Devin) (lvv4ublyth.wordpress.com)
    Stoicism was founded in Athens by Zeno in early 3rd century, it was originally taught by him at the Stoa Poikile. Another famous stoic is Marcus Aurelius, a famous roman emperor. The discipline of Stoicism teaches self-control as a means of defeating destructive emotions, which they believed were caused by errors in judgment and would not be felt by a true sage. Stoicism became the foremost philosophy among the leaders of Hellenistic and Roman society.
  • Pherecydes of Leros [Pherecydes of Athens] (vonfaustus.blogspot.com)
    Dionysus leading the Horae.
    [Day of Saturn + Hour of Mercury]
    Hermes I call, whom Fate decrees to dwell in the dire path which leads to deepest hell
    O Bacchic [Bakkheios] Hermes, progeny divine of Dionysius [Dionysos], parent of the vine,
    And of celestial Venus [Aphrodite] Paphian queen, dark eye-lash’d Goddess of a lovely mien:

First Century of Christianity

History of Christianity

1. The early days of Christianity

1.1. First Century of Christianity

When Jesus walked around on this World he talked about the Word of God which was given to men by the writings in the Holy Books. During his whole mortal life on earth, including the two or three years of His active ministry, Christ lived as a devout Jew, Himself observing, and insisting on His followers observing, the injunctions of the Law (Matthew 23:3). The sum of His teaching, as of that of His precursor, was the approach of the “Kingdom of God”, meaning not only the rule of righteousness in the individual heart (“the kingdom of God is within you” — Luke 17:21), but also the Church (as is plain from many of the parables) which He was about to institute.[1]

the Gospel of Matthew

The Gospel of Matthew - Image by humberpike via Flickr

For years many people had studied those book rolls. His disciples, the apostles wrote down the account of Jesus life and of the things they did to have Jesus be know in the world. Their letters were read by many and a lot of followers of Christ, known as the movement of the Israelitish sect The Way, studied those writings of the apostles. For them the whole history of the Jews as detailed in the Old Testament was something they had to share with next generations. When read in the light of other events it was for them to be a clear though gradual preparation for the preaching of Christianity. The new religion which came into existence after Jesus death and after the day of Pentecost, A.D. 29, was at first wholly confined to the synagogue, and it votaries had still a large share of Jewish exclusiveness; reading the Law, practising circumcision, and worshipping in the Temple, as well as in the upper room at Jerusalem.

For a long time Christianity regarded itself as part of Judaism. The apostles were like Jesus Jews and they considered themselves still Jews. The followers of Christ and the ones who became students of the teachings of Jesus the Nazarene and became baptized were considered to have become partakers of some communion, of the body of Christ. They had their centre in Jerusalem[2] the town God promised to His people.

In the first century the disciples were relatively small in number. Their Leader, Jesus, had been executed as an alleged rebel. Initially those supporters of the Jew Jesus were yet contemplated as part of the Jewish religion, that was fixed in the saddle and had in Jerusalem her realm splendour temple where they also could go to.

The first Christian municipality in the world history consisted of natural Jews and proselytes and became set up in 33 C. T. in Jerusalem. With Pentecost 33 C. T. several Jews found in Jerusalem came from Cappadocia and from Pontus (Acts 2:9). It can be that some of these Jews from Pontus that heard Petrus’ speech, became Christians and returned to their own territory. Probably Christianity spread itself to Cappadocia as a result of the present Cappadocians, and Petrus his first letter (ca. 62–64 C.T.) became directed at them and at “the temporary inhabitants” that were dispersed in Pontus and in other regions of Small-Asia.(1Petrus 1:1).

In the first century everywhere there were founded Jewish communities in the surrounding pagan nations. Those communities had synagogues where people regularly assembled to hear the Scriptures being read aloud and being discussed. Accordingly early Christians were in the position to build on the religious knowledge those men already owned (Acts 8:28-36; 17:1, 2).

Slowly the Good News of the Kingdom of God became more scattered self and the supporters of Jesus Christ under divine leadership came to be known as Christians. This term became used for the first time in Syrian Antioch, from which Barnabas and Paul, accompanied by Johannes Markus, begun at their first mission trip. (Acts 11:26).

Real Christians did their extreme best to bring around this Good News that a notion contained about the saint secret in “whole the creation that is under the heaven” to preach (1Corinthians 2:1; Ephesians 6:19; Colossians 1:23; 4:3, 4). The apostles and the other first Christians gave in this respect a clear example.  In Acts of the Apostles 5:42, we read over their activity: ” And every day, in the Temple and privately, from house to house, they went on teaching and preaching the glad tidings that Jesus is the Christ and the good news.”

The book of the Acts of the Apostles let us see that solidarity for the first Christians formed an important part of their adoration. We read there: ” And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and unanimously breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart. And they praised God and stood at the entire people in the favour, those that were saved eating their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,” (Acts 2:46, 47).

Also the apostle Paul asked to hold on unanimously to the religious belief. “Let we without wavering hold on to the public profession of our hope, for he that has promised, is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23). For him and the other apostles it was clear that this public notification was not limited till expressions during meetings of the municipality (Psalm 40:9, 10). A prophetic command to preach outside the municipality, until the nations, can be found in the words of Psalm 96:2, 3, 7, 8, 10: ” Proclaim day after day the good news of the rescue through Him (Jehovah). Make under the nations His magnificence known. Give unto Yahweh/Jehovah, O you kindreds of the people, give unto Yahweh/Jehovah glory and strength. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. Give Adonai Jehovah the glory due to His name; bring an offering, and enter his courtyards. Say to the nations:’ Jehovah self became king.'” And indeed Jesus in Matthew 28:19, 20 and Acts 1:8 gave Christians this command to preach to all nations.

On this public preaching Paul points in his further words to the anointed Hebrew Christians: “Let we through mediation of him always continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to The God -that is, the fruit of lips confessing his name openly. (Hebrews 13:15). The book Revelation shows us that also the “large multitude” that from all nations has been brought together, exists of people that with a loud voice exclaim: “Salvation to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:9, 10).

Christ had often gathered with his disciples to give instructions and to feed them spiritually. After his death his pupils continued this tradition. His followers came together, as on the Pentecost in 33 C. T., when the Holy Spirit was poured out on those who were together. (Acts of the Apostles 2:1-4). The first Christians preferred to gather, mostly in small groups, regularly either in each other’s house or in the synagogue to come together to study the Word of God. It was for the first Jewish Christians not difficult to hold orderly, teachable bible study meetings, for the ground patron they had in the synagogues with which they were acquainted. The fundamental characteristics of the synagogue services became a taken over by the Christians for their meetings, where one read the Scriptures aloud, explained them, encouraged each other, prayed and praised God. (1 Corinthians 14:26-33, 40, Colossians 4:16). Sometimes “a considerable multitude” was present at their meetings (Acts 11:26).

As in the Jewish synagogue there was in the Christian municipality also no separate hierocracy neither a clergyman who had to say everything. In the synagogue every pious Jew took an active part in reading aloud and having time to explain. So also in the Christian municipality it was expected from everybody that these contributed to the meeting and all had to do a public notification and to each exhort each other to love and excellent works, but this had to happen in an orderly manner (Hebrews 10:23-25). In the Jewish synagogue the women taught not and exercised no authority over men; at the Christian assembly did they do neither. One Corinthians chapter 14 contain instructions for the meetings of the Christian municipality, and there it seems that there was some similarity with the course of affairs in the synagogue. (1 Corinthians 14:31-35; 1Timotheus 2:11, 12).

Just as there was no difference in the early Church on the territory of the responsibility to spread the gospel in all possible manners, no difference existed between full-time servants and lay people, so there was in this respect also no difference between the sex. It was firmly established that each Christian had been called to be a witness of Christ, not only through means of his way of life, but also with his lips. Everybody had to be an apologist or defender of the belief, at least in that extent that he was prepare to give a good exposition of the hope that he owned. And this went also for the women.  They had quite a large share at the promotion of Christianity.

Reports of the early church form the proof that they literally took up the gospel preaching not only serious but also literally. Even simplest members were messengers that spread the truth. The history shows how the first Christians, although they were respectful, order loving citizens, determined to be “no part of the world” continued without hesitating their preaching work, even when it brought violent persecution over them.

Christianity grew naturally from within by the sincerity of devout adherents of Jesus Christ. It attracted people by its very presence and by the character of the rest and peace which was over those followers of Jesus. While there were no professional missionaries devoting their whole life to this specific work, every congregation was a missionary society, and every Christian believer a missionary, inflamed by the love of Christ to convert his fellow-men. The example had been set by Jerusalem and Antioch, and by those brethren who, after the martyrdom of Stephen, “were scattered abroad and went about preaching the Word.” (Acts 8:4; 11:19). Fuller, and workers in wool and leather, rustic and ignorant persons, were the most zealous propagators of Christianity, and brought it first to women and children.[3] Women and slaves introduced it into the home-circle. It was the glory of the gospel that was preached to the poor and by the poor to make them rich. Origen informs us that the city churches sent their missionaries to the villages. Every Christian told his neighbor, the laborer to his fellow-laborer, the slave to his fellow-slave, the servant to his master and mistress.

The gospel was propagated chiefly by the way of living, preaching and by personal intercourse; to a considerable extent also through the sacred Scriptures, which were early propagated and translated into various tongues, the Latin (North African and Italian), the Syriac (the Curetonian and the Peshito), and the Egyptian (in three dialects, the Memphitic, the Thebaic, and the Bashmuric). Communication among the different parts of the Roman empire from Damascus to Britain was comparatively easy and safe. The highways built for commerce and for the Roman legions, served also the messengers of peace and the silent conquests of Christianity. Commerce itself at that time, as well as now, was a powerful agency in carrying the gospel and the seeds of Christian civilization to the remotest parts of the Roman empire.

Although different caesars governed as tyrants, the laws in the first century made it possible usually to defend and to affirm legally the good news. (Philippians 1:7).


[1] Origin of Christianity and its relation with other religions, Catholic Encyclopaedia, New York 1908

[2] Irenæus, “Adversus Hæreses, i. 26

[3] Celsus

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  • What Were The Early Believers Called: HaDerech (The Way), The Natzari Sect, Netzerim-Natzraya, Jessaeans, Essene’s, Saducee’s, Christians or Nasaraeans? What Is There Place In Middle Judiasm? (paradoxparables.wordpress.com)
    The Nazarenes-Netzerim-Natzraya is the title that the early church gave themselves. The Talmud actually refers to them a few times. The Twelth prayer in the Amidah added by Gamiliel II was add against the Sectarians, the Sect of the Nazarenes-Netzerim-Natzraya. In the Talmud the early Messianic believers we’re called Saducee’s, and Essene’s at times even Netzerim-Natzraya. Rashi did a job of restoring the title Netzerim-Natzraya where it had been removed.
  • Also Earliest (pre-Christian) Nazarenes: Pliny the Elder’s evidence and Earliest Nazarenes: Evidence of Epiphaniusdiscuss the name given to the followers of the Jew Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who were therefore called the Nazarenes. For this group did not name themselves Christians or with Jesus’ own name, but “Nazoraeans.”(“Panarion 29″ by Epiphanius) They also came to be called “Jessaeans” for a short while, before the disciples began to be called “Christians” at Antioch. Also today we still can find the non-trinitarian denomination of the “Friends of the Nazarene”.”While treating the name of the sect, we may deal here with a short notice by Pliny the Elder which has caused some confusion among scholars. In his Historia Naturalis, Book V, he says: We must now speak of the interior of Syria. Cœle Syria has the town of Apamea, divided by the river Marsyas from the Tetrarchy of the Nazerini; Bambyx, the other name of which is Hierapolis, but by the Syrians called Mabog. This was written before 77 A.D., when the work was dedicated to Titus. The similarity of the name with the Nazerini has led many to conclude, erroneously, that this is an early (perhaps the earliest) witness to Christians  (or Nazarenes) by a pagan writer. Other than this, be it noted, there is no pagan notice of Nazarenes.” “… Can Pliny’s Nazerini be early Christians? The answer depends very much on the identification of his sources, and on this basis the answer must be an unequivocal No. It is generally acknowledged that Pliny drew heavily on official records and most likely on those drawn up by Marcus Agrippa (d. 12 B.C.). Jones has shown that this survey was accomplished between 30 and 20 B.C. Any connection between the Nazerini and the Nazarini must, therefore, be ruled out, and we must not attempt to line this up with Epiphanius’ Nazoraioi. One may, however, be allowed to see the Nazerini as the ancestors of today’s Nusairi, the inhabitants of the ethnic region captured some seven centuries later by the Moslems. …” (Neil Godfrey)
    “… everyone called the Christians Nazoraeans, as they say in accusing the apostle Paul, “We have found this man a pestilent fellow and a perverter of the people, a ring-leader of the sect of the Nazoraeans.” (3) And the holy apostle did not disclaim the name – not to profess the Nazoraean sect, but he was glad to own the name his adversaries’ malice had applied to him for Christ’s sake. (4) For he says in court, “They neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, nor have I done any of those things whereof they accuse me. But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I, believing all things in the Law and the prophets .””

Welcome to some older articles

We welcome you and invite you to enjoy with us some articles published from 2005 until 2009 on the Bijbeblevorsers Blog.

These previously published articles shall also be presented over here until the publication of the vull series of articles on the History of Christianity.

We would like to share with those who are interested in the Word of God and would like to remember the passers-by that not all Bible Students are connected with Jehovah Witnesses.


For example you can find in Belgium the Belgian Christadelphians, the Bible researchers Bijbelvorsers and Bijbelonderzoekers and the Biblestudents which are part of a
world-wide community of Bible students whose fellowship is based on a common understanding of the Scriptures.

We aren’t some sort of branch cultic group, as we have no central organization telling us what to do and believe. Rather we are tied together everywhere by our distinctive beliefs, which are freely and independently arrived at.

The Belgian Biblestudents, Bible researchers and the Christadelphians or Brothers in Christ believe that Jesus or Jeshua, the Nazarene, the Messiah or Christ is the son of God, who came to fulfil the Old Testament promises and covenants of God with mankind, primarily the covenants with Eve, Abraham and David.

We believe all Bible teachings, including:

  • The Bible is the only true message from God and was entirely given by Him.

  • There is only one God, the Father, who made the world and has a great purpose for it.

  • The Holy Spirit is God’s own power, by which he works out His own holy will.

  • Jesus is the Son of God. He is also Son of Man through being born of Mary.

  • Jesus overcame all temptation and died to save his followers from sin and death.

  • Jesus was raised from the dead by God. Later he ascended to heaven but will return.

  • When he returns he will raise and judge the responsible dead and give immortality to the faithful.

  • He will be King over the restored Kingdom of God in Israel and over the whole world.

  • When man dies he ceases to exist. The only hope of life is by resurrection at Christ’s return.

  • Belief in god’s promises about the Kingdom of God and the work of Jesus Christ is essential.

  • Repentance and baptism into Christ by immersion in water and daily following of Christ are all necessary for ultimate salvation.

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Musings on theology, apologetics, practical Christianity and God's grace in salvation through Jesus Christ

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The official website of Michael Bradley - Author of novels, short stories and poetry involving the past, future, and what may have been.

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

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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

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