Donald TRUMP: Le voi permite reprezentanţilor religioşi să vorbească liber şi fără teamă de răzbunare. Libertatea religioasă este un drept sacru, însă este sub o ameninţare gravă.

Trump a spus că administraţia sa va „distruge complet” Amendamentul Johnson, care le interzice bisericilor şi altor organizaţii să se implice în activitatea politică, riscând să îşi piardă scutirea de taxe.

Anularea amendamentului va necesita aprobarea Congresului.

Trump a discutat despre influenţa religiei în viaţa sa, referindu-se la Biblia familiei, pe care a depus jurământul ca preşedinte. Liderul de la Casa Albă a spus că mama sa îi citea din Biblie în copilărie. „America este o naţiune de credincioşi”, a afirmat el. „Calitatea vieţii noastre nu este definită de succesul nostru material, ci de succesul nostru spiritual”, a precizat Trump.

Afla mai mult- http://www.digi24.ro/

Reclame

ETIOPIA: Unul Dintre Cele Mai Vechi Exemplare al Bibliei a Fost Descoperit intr-o Manastire Izolata

Oamenii de stiinta spun ca textul antic datează la aproximativ 800 de ani înainte de aparitia versiunii King James, făcându-l unul dintre cele mai vechi exemplare ale Bibliei.

Etiopia – (CBN News). Cercetătorii au descoperit intr-o manastire etiopeana, o Biblie veche cu ilustratii, dezvăluind astfel o tradiție bogata a creștinismului din aceasta țară din Africa de Vest.

Ele sunt numite Evangheliile Garima, numite dupa un calugar care a venit în Etiopia în 494 d.Hr. de la Constantinopol. Frumos ilustrate, paginile sunt vii și pastrate intact.

„Multe dintre aceste relicve creștine vechi pot fi atinse doar prin mersul pe jos și prin catarare, pentru a se ajunge la aceste mănăstiri izolate deoarece drumurile în aceste regiuni muntoase sunt limitate”, au spus cercetatorii publicatiei Naij.com. „ Evangheliile Garima au fost ținute la un loc inalt și uscat, ceea ce a ajutat să se păstreze toți acești ani și sunt ținute în întuneric, fapt pentru care culorile au ramas in stare proaspătă.”

Oamenii de stiinta spun ca textul antic datează la aproximativ 800 de ani înainte de versiunea King James, făcându-l unul dintre cele mai vechi exemplare ale Bibliei. Cartea a fost cel mai probabil scrisa de un călugăr pe nume Garima cândva în jurul anilor 350-650 dH.

Descoperirea este o reamintire a conectiei adanci a Etiopiei la creștinism. Etiopia a fost una dintre primele țări africane care a primit Evanghelia. Faptele Apostolilor 8:27 menționează un om etiopian care s-a intalnit cu Filip și dupa aceea s-a întors în Etiopia unde a împărtășit Evanghelia.

Cartea antică va fi pastrata la Fondul Patrimoniului Etiopian. Organizația speră ca mai tarziu să prezinte Biblia în mănăstirea unde a fost scrisă și păstrată timp de secole.

Traducer Agnus Dei – SURSA – http://www.breakingchristiannews.com/articles/display_art.html?ID=18793

Distribuţia de Biblii înregistrează un record absolut în 2014

cristianos-biblia-cuba

Anul 2014 a însemnat anul în care s-au distribuit cel mai mare  număr de Biblii (în format clasic) de către Societăţile Biblice, în toată lumea. Numărul de Biblii complete distribuite, este de aproape 34…

Citeste mai mult aici – http://benidradici.com/distributia-de-biblii-inregistreaza-un-record-absolut-in-2014-3/

Wednesday Events – Passion Week – and Judas Iscariot,the suicide of Satan and the Salvation of the World

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

(via) Justin Taylor from the Gospel Coalition

Holy Week: What Happened on Wednesday?

Jesus continues his daily teaching in the Temple

Luke 21:37-38

With Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread approaching, the chief priests, elders, and scribes plot to kill Jesus

Matthew 26:3-5 Mark 14:1-2 Luke 22:1-2

Satan enters Judas, who seeks out the Jewish authorities in order to betray Jesus for a price

Matthew 26:14-16 Mark 14:10-11 Luke 22:3-6

Luke 22:1-6

Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. 2 And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people. 3 Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. 4 He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. 5 And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. 6 So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.

This is the final message in the series called Spectacular Sins and Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ. The aim has been to show that over and over in the history of the world, the epoch-making sins that changed the course of history never nullified but only fulfilled the global purposes of God to glorify his Son and save his people.

My prayer is that, as these great historical vistas of God’s sovereignty over sin take their place in your renewed mind, they would have a profoundly practical effect in making you strong in the face of breath-stopping sorrows and making you bold for Christ in the face of dangerous opposition. Christ-exalting strength in calamity and Christ-exalting courage in conflict. I pray that the Lord will weave cords of steel and silk into the fabric of your soul.

History’s Most Spectacular Sin: The Murder of Jesus

The most spectacular sin that has ever been committed in the history of the world is the brutal murder of Jesus Christ, the morally perfect, infinitely worthy, divine Son of God. And probably the most despicable act in the process of this murder was the betrayal of Jesus by one of his closest friends, Judas Iscariot.

Judas was one of the twelve apostles that Jesus had personally chosen and who had been with Jesus during his entire public ministry. He had been entrusted with the moneybag for the whole group (John 13:29). He was close enough to Jesus at the Last Supper to be dipping bread with him in the same cup (Mark 14:20).

“Satan Entered into Judas”

On the night of the Last Supper, Luke tells us in Luke 22:3-6 that “Satan entered into Judas. . . . He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray [Jesus] to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.” Later he led the authorities to Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane and betrayed Jesus with a kiss (Luke 22:47-48). With that, Jesus’ death was sealed.

When Luke tells us in verse 3 that “Satan entered into Judas,” several questions come to our minds. 1) One is whether Satan simply mastered a good Judas or whether Judas was already walking in line with Satan and Satan simply decided that now is the time. 2) Another question is why Satan would do this since the death and resurrection of Jesus would result in Satan’s final defeat, and there is good reason to think Satan knew that. 3) And the third and most important question is: Where was God when this happened? What was his role or non-role in the most spectacular sin that ever was? So let’s take these questions one at a time.

1) Satan’s Power in Judas’ Sinful Passions

When it says in Luke 22:3 that “Satan entered into Judas,” how are we to think about the will of Judas and the power of Satan? Judas was not an innocent bystander when Satan entered into him. The apostle John tells us in John 12:6 that he was a thief. When Judas complained that Mary had wasted money in anointing Jesus, John comments, “He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.”

If that sounds incredible, just think of the scandalous behavior of so-called Christian leaders today who use ministry gifts to buy $39,000 worth of clothes at one store in a year, and send their kids on a $29,000 trip to the Bahamas, and drive a white Lexus and a red Mercedes. As Judas sat beside Jesus with his pious, religious face and went out and cast out demons in Jesus’ name, he was not a righteous lover of Jesus. He loved money. He loved the power and pleasures that money could by.

Paul tells us how that works together with Satan’s power. Listen to Ephesians 2:1-3: “You were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air [notice the connection: dead in sins, following Satan], the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Dead in our sins, walking in the passions of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of body and mind, and therefore following the prince of the power of the air.

Satan does not take innocent people captive. There are no innocent people. Satan has power where sinful passions hold sway. Judas was a lover of money, and he covered it with a phony, external relationship with Jesus. And then he sold him for thirty pieces of silver. How many of his tribe are there still today! Don’t be one. And don’t be duped by one.

2) Satan’s Role in His Own Destruction

The second question is why Satan would lead Judas to betray Jesus. Doesn’t he know that the death and resurrection of Jesus would result in Satan’s final defeat (Colossians 2:13-15; Revelation 12:11)? There’s good reason to think Satan knew that.

When Jesus began his ministry on the way to the cross, Satan tried to turn him away from the path of suffering and sacrifice. In the wilderness, he tempted him to turn stones into bread and jump off the temple and get the rulership of the world by worshipping him (Matthew 4:1-11). The point of all these temptations is: Don’t walk the path of suffering and sacrifice and death. Use your power to escape suffering. If you’re the Son of God, show your right to reign. And I can help you do it. Whatever you do, don’t go to the cross.

Then do you remember the time when Jesus predicted he would suffer many things from the elders and the chief priests and be killed and Peter rebuked him and said, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you” (Matthew 16:22). In other words, I will never let you be killed like that. Jesus did not commend him. He said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man” (Matthew 16:23). Hindering Jesus from going to the cross was the work of Satan. Satan did not want Jesus crucified. It would be his undoing.

But here he is in Luke 22:3 entering into Judas and leading him to betray the Lord and bring him to the cross. Why the about face? Why try to divert him from the cross and then take the initiative to bring him to the cross? We are not told. Here is my effort at an answer: Satan saw his efforts to divert Jesus from the cross failing. Time after time, Jesus kept the course. His face was set like flint to die, and Satan concludes that there is no stopping him. Therefore he resolves that if he can’t stop it, he will at least make it as ugly and painful and as heartbreaking as possible. Not just death, but death by betrayal. Death by abandonment. Death by denial (see Luke 22:31-32). If he could not stop it, he would drag others into it and do as much damage as he could. It was a spectacular sequence of sins that brought Jesus to the cross.

3) God’s Role in the Murder of His Son

Which brings us now to the third and final question—the most important one: Where was God when this happened? Or more precisely: What was God’s role or non-role in the most spectacular sin that ever happened—the murder of Jesus Christ?

To answer a question like that we should put our hands on our mouths and silence our philosophical speculations. Our opinions don’t count here. All that counts is what God himself as shown us in his word. And the first thing he shows us is that the details surrounding the death of Jesus are prophesied in God’s word hundreds of years before they happen.

The Scriptures prophesy that evil men will reject Jesus when he comes.

Matthew 21:42: “Jesus said to them (quoting Psalm 118:22), ‘Have you never read in the Scriptures: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes”?’”

The Scriptures prophesy that Jesus must be hated.

In John 15:25, Jesus quoted Psalm 35:19 and said, “The word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’”

The Scriptures prophesy that the disciples would abandon Jesus.

In Matthew 26:31, he quotes Zechariah 13:7: “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’”

The Scriptures prophesy that Jesus will be pierced but none of his bones will be broken.

John quotes Psalm 34:20 and Zechariah 12:10 and says, “One of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear. . . . For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: ‘Not one of his bones will be broken.’ And again another Scripture says, ‘They will look on him whom they have pierced’” (John 19:34-37).

The Scriptures prophesy that Jesus would be betrayed by a close friend for thirty pieces of silver.

In John 13:18, Jesus cites Psalm 41:9 and says, “I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’”

And in Matthew 26:24, Jesus says, “The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!”

And in Matthew 27:9-10, it says, “Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, ‘And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me’” (Jeremiah 19:1-13; Zechariah 11:12-13).

And not only the Scriptures, but Jesus himself prophesies, down to the details, how he will be killed.

In Mark 10:33-34, he says, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”

And on that last night, Jesus looked at Peter and said, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times” (Matthew 26:34).

According to His Sovereign Will

From all these prophesies, we know that God foresaw, and did not prevent, and therefore included in his plan that his Son would be rejected, hated, abandoned, betrayed, denied, condemned, spit upon, flogged, mocked, pierced, and killed. All these are explicitly in God’s mind before they happen as things that he plans will happen to Jesus. These things did not just happen. They were foretold in God’s word. God knew they would happen and could have planned to stop them, but didn’t. So they happened according to his sovereign will.

And all of them were evil. They were sin. It is sin to reject, hate, abandon, betray, deny, condemn, spit upon, flog, mock, pierce, and kill the morally perfect, infinitely worthy, divine Son of God. And yet the Bible is explicit and clear that God himself planned these things. It is explicit not only in all the prophetic texts we have seen, but also in passages that say even more plainly that God brought these things to pass.

God Brought It to Pass

For example, in Isaiah 53:6 and 10, it says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. . . . It was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief.” So behind the spitting and flogging and mocking and piercing is the invisible hand and plan of God.

And I say that carefully and with trembling. This truth is too big and too weighty and too shocking to be glib about or to be cocky about. I choose to say that the invisible hand and plan of God are behind these most spectacular sins in all the universe—more grievous and more spectacular than the fall of Satan or any others. The reason I use these very words is because the Bible says it in those very words.

The Hand and Plan of God

In Acts 4:27-28, we have the clearest, most explicit statement about God’s hand and plan behind the horrific crucifixion of his Son. “Truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand (cheir) and your plan (boule) had predestined to take place.” Those are the two words I am using: the hand of God and the plan of God.

It is a strange way of speaking—to say that God’s hand and plan have predestined something to happen. One does not ordinarily think of God’s “hand” predestining. How does a hand predestine? Here’s what I think it means: The hand of God ordinarily stands for God’s exerted power—not power in the abstract, but earthly, effective exertions of power. The point of combining it with “plan” is to say that it is not just a theoretical plan; it is plan that will be executed by God’s own hand.

This explains Isaiah 53:10: “It was the will of the Lord to bruise him; he has put him to grief.” Or more literally, with the King James Version, “It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief.” The Lord bruised him. Behind Herod and Pilate and the Gentiles and the people of Israel was Jesus’ own Father who loved him with an infinite love.

The Gospel: God At Work in Death

Why should this matter to you? It should matter because if God were not the main Actor in the death of Christ, then the death of Christ could not save us from our sins and we would perish in hell forever. The reason the death of Christ is the heart of gospel—the heart of the good news—is God was doing it. Romans 5:8: “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” If you break God’s activity from the death of Jesus, you lose the gospel. This was God’s doing. It is the highest and deepest point of his love for sinners. His love for you.

Romans 8:3: “Sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh.” God condemned sin in Jesus’ flesh with our condemnation. So we are free.

Galatians 3:13: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” God cursed Jesus with the curse that belonged on us. So we are free.

2 Corinthians 5:21: “For our sake [God] made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” God imputed our sin to him, and now we go free in God’s righteousness.

Isaiah 53:5: “He was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities.” God wounded him. God crushed him. For you and me. And we go free.

The Cross of Christ: The Work and Love of God

The reason why this series of messages matters is this. If you embrace the biblical truth (and I pray you will) that God ordains spectacular sins for the global glory of his Son, without in anyway becoming unholy or unrighteous or sinful in that act, then you will not shrink back from the cross of Christ as a work of God. You will not be among the number of those who call the most loving act that ever was “divine child abuse.” You will come to the cross and fall on your face. And you will say: This is no mere human conspiracy. This is the work of God and the love of God. You will it receive as his highest gift. And you will be saved. And Christ will be glorified. And I will not have preached in vain.

© Desiring God

John Piper – Six reasons the Son of God came into the world

christmas

I want to let six of the witnesses speak and testify to why the Son of God came into the world. The witnesses are Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, and the writer to the Hebrews. The answers they give are six reasons for Jesus’ coming:

  1. To ransom many – Mark 10:45, „The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”The reason we need a ransom to be paid for us is that we have sold ourselves into sin and have been alienated from a holy God. When Jesus gave his life as a ransom, our slavemasters, sin and death and the devil, had to give up their claim on us. And the result was that we could be adopted into the family of God.Paul put it like this in Galatians 4:4–5, „When the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons.” In other words the redemption or the ransom frees us to be a part of God’s family. We had run away and sold ourselves into slavery. But God pays a ransom and redeems us out of slavery into the Father’s house.To do that, God’s Son had to become a human being so that he could suffer and die in our place to pay the ransom. That is the meaning of Christmas. Hebrews 2:14 puts it like this, „Since the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death.” In other words, the reason Christ took on human flesh was so that he could die and in dying pay a ransom and free us from the power of death.
  2. To call sinners to repentance –Luke 5:31–32, „Jesus said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'”Jesus came to call sinners to repentance. First, there needed to be a ransom to be paid for sinners. Then, there could be a successful call to sinners. The call is based on the ransom. And Jesus says he came for both of these things.He does not leave the ransoming or the calling to others. He ransoms and he calls. Even today he is calling through the Bible and through the preaching of the Bible. He is calling this morning.That is the meaning of Christmas. He came to call sinners.
  3. To give sight to the morally blind – John 9:39, „Jesus said, ‘For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see.'” And John 12:46, „I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me might not remain in darkness.”Jesus did not merely come to ransom and to call, he also came to open people’s eyes so that they can see the light and walk in it. Our problem is not just slavery needing a ransom, and lostness needing a call; our problem is also moral blindness, needing the gift of sight. We are simply blind to some spiritual realities that are utterly crucial to see and embrace.This is why Christ came: that those who do not see may see. This is the meaning of Christmas.
  4. To divide households – Matthew 10:34, „Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, and a man’s foes will be those of his own household.”The point of this word is not that God loves division and strife. The point is that strife and division caused by true allegiance to Jesus are better than no strife and division with no allegiance to Jesus. The point is that when a person is ransomed and called and given sight, something really radical happens to them.They see everything differently with that new sight, and they have a new master because of that sovereign call, and they are wonderfully free from fear and guilt because of that sufficient ransom. And so they think differently and feel things differently and act differently. And for some in the family, that can be very threatening, and so tension develops. For this Jesus came into the world. That too is the meaning of Christmas.
  5. To save from divine condemnation – John 3:17–18, „For God sent not the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. He who believes in him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already.”God sent his Son to save us from his own just condemnation and wrath. The need for salvation implies that there is a danger we need to be saved from. That danger is sin and death and the devil. But the most serious danger of all is the danger of the condemnation of God. If God is for us, then sin and death and the devil will fail to destroy us. But if God is against us, then nothing can save us.Christmas, the coming of Jesus, is God’s way of being for us — if we will believe. „He who believes is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already.”
  6. To give eternal life – John 3:16, „For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”Christmas means that God sent his Son so that we could believe and have eternal life.This is what Patty was talking about when she said last night, with her dead child in her arms, „How do people bear it who have no hope?” The hope she meant was eternal life. And that life is the gift of God through Jesus Christ.

John Piper at Desiring God via http://www.sermoncentral.com/

 

The mother whose wisdom is included alongside the wisdom of Solomon

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Have you ever paid close attention to Proverbs 31? This is an oft cited chapter that refers to the „virtuous woman”  / or the „woman who fears the Lord...” and lists her qualifications. If you have not read the entire chapter, you might mistakenly attribute this chapter to Solomon. Yet verse 1 states:

„The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:”

Now, there is no other mention of this king anywhere else in the Bible, and some older commentaries attribute King Lemuel to being Solomon. Regardless who this king is, the verses in Chapter 31 are quoted from this mother of King Lemuel.

Now read this chapter again, noting that it is written by a woman and if you are one of those women who usually cringes or avoids reading this chapter altogether, because you think it describes a „superwoman” or that it is an impossibility for one woman to display all of the qualities described here, I would encourage you to read the article attached in the link at the bottom of this article, beneath the notes.

The Words of King Lemuel

31 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:

What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb?
What are you doing, son of my vows?
Do not give your strength to women,
your ways to those who destroy kings.
It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine,
or for rulers to take strong drink,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,
and wine to those in bitter distress;
let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.
Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

10  An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

Photo credit www.dailymail.co.uk

Some short notes which makes some  great points from this Proverbs 31 commentary at www.graceinabundance.com:

Her textual identity –

  • The text of Proverbs does not name the noble woman it describes in such detail. The author is King Lemuel, who was known by Israel‟s sages even though he remains unknown to us. He received the instruction from his own mother. In addition to admonishing her son that a king must not give in to any unrestrained living that would jeopardize his ability to rule, she summarizes the kind of wife that would add honor to his name. He must look for a truly valiant6 wife who fears the Lord and not be tempted by mere beauty and charm. Lemuel applies the advice to more than the royal household, for the husband described within is an elder of the city, not a king. Thus, what was originally designed as advice for a prince has been included in Scripture for the benefit of all classes.
  • Some deny that this too-good-to-be-true wife could be just one woman. She must be an ideal, composite picture of what one could desire in a wife if it were possible to acquire it all in one package.  Nevertheless, we cannot escape the textual presentation of her as one, distinct person whose wisdom benefits not only her household but the community as well. Seeing her as a composite creates unwarranted opportunity for excusing ourselves from any obligation to be like her.

Before determining how this instruction should be applied to today‟s woman, several assumptions need to be recognized.

  1. Assumption 1: She is a mature woman.The woman described in the text is a mature woman, not a new bride. She shows the confidence of one who has gained experience over time, both in her spiritual development and in her skills as a homemaker. Young men hoping to discover a readymade Proverbs 31 wife are setting themselves up for a disappointment if they expect to say “I do” to a bride with this much skill or wisdom. In the same way that homemaking skills become perfected with practice, so also understanding and wisdom increase over time when one walks with the Author of wisdom. A new bride may not match the Proverbs 31 woman‟s skill, but she will be counted wise if she makes a conscious choice to follow the Way of Wisdom.
  2. Assumption 2: Her husband is a wise and mature man. Second, this woman is married to a man who is qualified to sit in the gates as an elder of his people. He has presumably been successful in his own endeavors and thereby has gained the respect of the community. He recognizes that he has a superb wife and appropriately leaves the management of the home to her.
  3. Assumption 3: Her household is economically well off. Third, the Proverbs 31 wife is part of a well-to-do household. Waltke mentions that the poem “assumes the husband has founded the home on a sound economic foundation (24:27) and within that context his wife can settle down and function to her maximum ideal.20 The text indicates that the woman‟s prudent management of the family‟s resources brought economic security to all of her household. Many women conclude that it would be impossible to live up to this woman‟s example without also having her servants. In their dreams, the servants would do the household work and leave them free to carry on her other pursuits. However, this betrays both a misunderstanding of the role of servants and of the author‟s point. In the North American context, servant brings to mind either  the historical slave of  the Southern plantation, or (2) a domestic worker whom only the rich can afford to pay. Neither description comes close to depicting the Proverbs 31 household servant. Even today where modern “electric servants” to which the West has become accustomed do not exist, household chores can be both physically demanding and time consuming. Without readymade clothes, canned foods, and prepared spices, clothing and feeding a household require a huge amount of one‟s day. With no electricity or indoor plumbing, every chore done by the machines the West takes so much for granted becomes a major job. The housewife needs help. Servants help, but they also bring responsibility. The Proverbs 31 woman shouldered this responsibility as normal routine in her household and did it well. The wise woman can live with or without servants. In either case, she organizes and carries out her work with wisdom, overseeing and advising everyone in her household.
  4. Assumption 4: The Proverbs 31 woman is a healthy woman. The fourth assumption from the text is that the Proverbs 31 woman is healthy, strong and fit for her job. Can a woman excuse herself from being a Proverbs 31 wife, then, if she has not been blessed with a healthy body and a vigorous immune system? If the amount of household tasks accomplished is the rule by which we measure a woman‟s worthiness, then we have established a superficial standard for wisdom. Certainly a healthy body is valuable, but wisdom is not dependant upon physical strength. Being a Proverbs 31 woman does not demand the perfect body. Instead, it needs a healthy spirit that is attuned to the Spirit of God.

In summary, then, although the author of Proverbs 31 delights in all this jewel of a woman does in the ruling of her household, her above-rubies value is not dependent upon her homemaking skills, her worthy husband, her comparative wealth, or her physical health. Her value is in using the wisdom God has given her, a wisdom that springs from her fear of the Lord. 

This is no assumption. The writer summarizes this remarkable wife with these words: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”24 Herein is the key to understanding the entire poem: the noble wife is a woman who fears the Lord. Focusing only on this industrious woman‟s work will cloud this crucial point.

Many women, even non-Christians, out of innate common sense and providential goodness devote themselves to caring successfully for their husbands and children, making the needs of their household the primary focus of their lives. What, then, differentiates the wise wife of Proverbs 31 from her counterparts? It is her fear of the Lord, not her wise shopping or her control over her children.

How does the Proverbs 31 woman‟s fear of the Lord make her different from other accomplished homemakers?

1. Her focus is on God.
2. She hates evil.
3. She is compassionate and fair to all.
4. She delights in the Lord’s commands.
5. She is teachable.

You can read the entire commentary here – http://graceinabundance.com/userfiles//Superwoman%20translit.pdf

John MacArthur – Isaiah 53 The Riddle of Redemption

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Message from – Moody Founder’s Week 2013
Watch/read D A Carson’s message at Moody Founder’s Week 2013 here – When Jesus confronts the world 

Watch/read Tony Evans’s message at Moody Founder’s Week 2013 here – There is no more important place to know Christ than the struggles of lifeisaiah scroll
This is about Christ, and about knowing Christ. Martin Luther said,”There’s a chapter in the Bible that every Christian should memorize, if that Christian intends to know Christ.” The German theologian, in 1866 said, „There is the chapter of the Bible, that is the most central, the deepest, the loftiest that Scripture has ever achieved. That same chapter, others have called ‘The Gospel of all vocabulary’. There’s a chapter in the Bible that has such stirring predictions, so complex, that only God could have known them centuries before history unfolded them. There’s a chapter in the Bible that is the most comprehensive exposition of the cross in all of Scripture, the most complete description of the substitutionary vicarious sacrificial death of the Savior in all of Holy writ. This same chapter has a scope that extends from eternity past to eternity future, and gathers up a whole history of redemption by focusing on the redeemer. It sweeps from His position in the eternal trinity to His return to full glory with His redeemed in the new heavens and the new earth. There is a chapter that embraces His past glory, His incarnation, His humiliation, His rejection, His unjust treatment, His unfair trial, His mistreatment, His death sentence, His execution, His resurrection, His intercession, His exaltation, and His coronation.

What is this chapter? It is the first Gospel, and it’s not Matthew. Matthew is the second Gospel. This is a chapter that is sufficient to save sinners. In fact, it is a chapter that was used by Philip to explain the Gospel to an Ethiopian eunuch. This is a chapter that you know. It is Isaiah 53- the first Gospel.

The description of the atoning work of Jesus Christ in Isaiah 53 surpasses any single Scripture on those subjects in the epistles of the New Testament. Let me tell you about Isaiah. 66 chapters, same as the number of books of the Bible. It’s split into two parts: the first 39 and the second 27. Exactly the way the Bible is split: Old Testament 39 books, New Testament 27.

The first 39 are about judgment, much like the Old Testament. The last 27 chapters (of Isaiah) are about redemption, just like the New Testament – Salvation. The last 27 are divided into 3 – 9 – 9 – and 9. The first 9 is about the physical salvation of Israel, the last 9 are about the physical salvation of creation. And the middle 9 is about the spiritual salvation of sinners. (8) So, let’s go down into the middle 9, and the middle chapter is chapter 53, and the middle verse, essentially, is, „He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our inequities.” The Holy Spirit forces us right down into this incredible chapter. Isaiah 53 has been called the torture chamber of the rabbis. It has been called the guilty conscience of the Jews. And it is that. They run from this chapter like the black death.

This chapter, stepping back in history and the place that it occupies in Scripture, this chapter answers the most critical question that will ever be asked or answered, ever, by anyone, anytime. The most essential question, the most important question is answered by this chapter. Religion must answer this question correctly or it is form hell. Any religion that does not give the right answer to this question is right out of hell. What is the question? It’s the riddle of the Old Testament. Did you know there was a riddle in the Old Testament? Turn to Exodus 34. Moses comes before God and wants God to assure him, he wants God to show up and reveal His glory. In Exodus 34:5 we read „the Lord descended from a cloud and stood there as he called upon the name of the Lord.” Now, the Lord is going to introduce Himself. „The Lord passed by in front of Him and proclaimed, „The Lord God, compassionate, and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness and truth, who keeps grace, loving kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin.” And, by the way, „He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.” That’s the riddle of the Old Testament.

That’s the riddle of redemption. How can God be gracious and punish the guilty? The answer to that is Isaiah 53. He will punish someone else. How can God, in the words of Paul, be just and the justifier of sinners? That is the question: How can a sinner be reconciled to a holy God? How can God love and bring to heavenly glory, sinners, without violating his righteousness? That is the question. If the right answer to that question is SAVED, then every other wrong answer DAMNS. That’s why I say that whoever doesn’t answer that question accurately is from hell. One more thing to say, about Isaiah 53. Just by way of introduction, if we think about it, this is a paralyzingly sad chapter. I don’t know of a sadder moment in all of redemptive history than the moment depicted in this chapter. It is horrific, beyond comprehension. This starts out as the most plaintive lament, the most extreme expression of sorrow. It is a kind of epic dirge. It is a funeral song with massive, sweeping implications. The crushing sorrow that is depicted in Isaiah 53 has no historic parallel, exceeds all other sorrows. (13:25)

The astonishing revelation

We start back in Isaiah 52 at verse 13. And, everything about this section is astonishing, absolutely astonishing. To start, in verse 13 we come to the very words of God. This section begins and ends with God speaking. God speaks in 52:13-15 and speaks half way through verse 11 and verse 12. So, what happens in the middle is bracketed by the words of God. God introduces and God sums up what’s in this great chapter. In 52:13-15, God Himself introduces the Messiah. He introduces His servant, His slave. First, it is an astonishing revelation. By the way, this is the 4th chapter that focuses on the servant or slave of God- the Messiah- vv. 42, 49, 50, 53. All servant songs, slave songs of the slave of God. He introduces Him: Behold because it is astonishing. „My slave will succeed”. Any reader of the Old Testament knows that that’s a Messianic title. Going all the way back to chapter 42, this is the Messiah. (15:29)

He will prosper. Actually, in Hebrew it is ‘act intelligently, act wisely’, succeed. It’s important that we understand that’s how God introduces this, because when He came, it looked like He didn’t succeed. It looked to the world like He failed. Then He begins to introduce Him. He will be high and lifted up, and greatly exalted. That identifies Him. Well, you say, isn’t that just repetitious? No, in the Hebrew, here’s what it says: He will be high, He will be higher, He will be highest. And those 3 designations in combination, only appear in one other place in all of Scripture. And those three designations refer to God. They only appear together in one other place- Isaiah 6. „I saw the Lord high, and higher, and highest.” So, now we know that the slave is God.

The astonishing humiliation

isaiah 53 5

The deity of Messiah is proclaimed. Verse 14 adds: Just as many were astonished at you My people, so His appearance was far more than any man.”  Now we know that He not only will be God, but He will also be man. The God man. He will be marred, that word in Hebrew means mutilated, it means distorted, it means disfigured. And, so extremely disfigured as to be literally beyond human recognition, looking like a beast, not a man. This servant is God? The eternal God: high, higher, highest. Exalted, loftiest, sitting on His throne. And, in the New testament, we know the writer of the Gospel of John tells us that the vision of Isaiah 6 is none other than Jesus Christ. He is God, lifted up and exalted. And He is man, marred, disfigured. This is the second riddle. Who is this Messiah? The Jews had a Messianic view, they had a concept of Messiah. I don’t know that they thought He would be God, but they assumed that He would be exalted. They had no sense that He would be marred, disfigured, far form it. But, that is only temporary.

His marring will be so severe, end of verse 14, that His form would be disfigured and distorted more than the sons of man. The implication of the language is- in face and form He will become subhuman. And we know that happened. All the brutality imposed upon Him. The physical distortion of His body, in all that He suffered and the distortion of His face, from sin bearing… We’re glad to get to verse 15. because the astonishing revelation, followed by the astonishing humiliation, brings us to the astonishing exaltation. (19:50)

The astonishing exaltation

„He will startle many nations.” Startle means to burst, to jump up. „He will startle many nations and Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him. What has not been told them, they will see, what they had not heard they will understand.” This is His final exaltation. So, God Himself, introduces His servant, His slave, the slave of Yahweh. the slave of Messiah, who is to come. He will be God, He will be man, He will be marred, He will be exalted. There is the career of the Lord Jesus in broad terms, from the mouth of God. This information is given to the Jews from Isaiah, 700 years before Jesus came. (21)

Isaiah 53

Now, let’s come to chapter 53. And, all of a suede something changes. Verses 13-15 ‘1st person- future’. „He will be”… „He will…” Kings will..”  „they will…”, „they will see..”. All future- speaking of the coming of the Messiah. Everything changes. This is one speaker: God, speaking of the future career of His servant. When you come to verse 1, everything changes. Everything now is in the past tense. And plural pronouns: „we”, „our”, „us”. The big question for us is, „Who is talking?” Not God. Who is speaking?

The Suffering Servant

53 Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.
By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation, who considered
That He was cut off out of the land of the living
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

10 But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
11 As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.

Who is saying this? Who is making this massive confession? What group of people is this? What group of people is this? This is plural ‘til you get down to verse 11, where God begins to speak again. Who is this? It is Israel.

What did we learn about Isaiah? Israel’s physical deliverance in the first 9 chapters of the second half, and Israel’s salvation in the second nine. You bore down to those 9 in the middle chapter and the middle verses- this is the prophecy, not the death of Christ. This is not a prophecy of the death of Christ, this is a prophecy of the future conversion of Israel, when they look back at the death of Christ and see who He really was. This is stunning. This leaps across the death and resurrection of Christ to the future conversion of Israel. That’s why Isaiah gave this. To give hope for the national salvation of his people.

Remember Ezekiel 36, when God promises salvation to Israel, a new heart, His spirit… you remember Jeremiah 31, the covenant passage promised to Israel, where God saves Israel. But, you might wanna think about this in terms of another prophecy. As you come to the end of the Old Testament, in Zechariah 12:10 I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. 
And Zechariah sees the future day, when Israel has, by the sovereign purposes of God, the spirit of grace and supplication comes down from heaven and gives them life. And when God does that, they will look on the one they pierced and they will mourn. vv 11-14 11 In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land will mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself and their wives by themselves; 13 the family of the house of Levi by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself and their wives by themselves; 14 all the families that remain, every family by itself and their wives by themselves. What are they all mourning about? That is the future work of God, when He saves the nation of Israel. Romans 11 „So, all Israel will be saved”. That’s the future promise of God.

When that day comes, what will they say? They will recite Isaiah 53. This is their confession. That’s why it’s in the past tense. Think of it this way, as we look at this incredible chapter. Why the mourning? Why the horror? Why does everybody mourn, from the lowest to the highest? From the King, the leader, always down to the humblest family? What is all this mourning and weeping, and sorrowing? It’s obvious. In that future day, when Israel is saved, they will look back over their history and realize that everyone that came before them and rejected Jesus Christ was damned forever. The horror. All the history of holocaust, all those people are lost. The mourning will be beyond comprehension. (transcript from first 30 min provided by our blog)

Passion Week – Tuesday – Olivet Discourse

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian (pentru tot articolul).

Saptamana Mare – Ce s-a intamplat Marti.
~~~In drum inapoi spre Ierusalim, ucenicii vad ca smochinul blestemat s-a uscat. (Matei 21 si Marcu 11)
~~~Autoritatea lui Isus este contestata de preoti la Templu
~~~Matei 22
Pilde care ne invata despre venirea Domnului
~~~Matei 23
Vai de voi cărturari şi farisei ipocriţi!
~~~Olivet discourse – Isus invata pe Muntele Maslinilor
Luca 21 & Matei 25 vorbeste despre revenirea Lui
Pilda fecioarelor, pilda talantilor, si judecata finala

  1. On the way back to Jerusalem in the morning the disciples see the withered fig tree.
  2. In Jerusalem there are more temple controversies, and then Jesus delivers the Olivet Discourse on the return back to Bethany.

„Olivet Discourse” is a name given to 4 special chapters in the Bible. It includes Matthew 24th-25th, Mark 13th and Luke 21st chapters. In all of these chapters Jesus speaks about the „End-Times” which will come upon humanity. Jesus gave these messages to the apostles while they were upon the Mount of Olives, hence the name: Olivet Discourse.

A study by Hampton Keathley IV at Bible.org

Introduction

You must be aware that these are probably the most debated parables in the Bible. Many of the books and journal articles and articles on the internet that I read said all the characters in these parables were believers. Instead of seeing that these are parables about salvation, they see them as parables about rewards or loss of rewards. It is the same argument that we dealt with a few weeks ago in our discussion of the marriage feast and the outer darkness.

Because of the context and because the punishment for the unfaithful is so severe, I see them as all dealing with salvation issues. But rewards are also taught.

These are extremely difficult parables to interpret. I’m tempted to just tell you what I think they mean and ignore all the other views, but I think it is good for you to hear the other interpretations and do your own wrestling with the details.

Context of Matthew 25

Olivet discourse – events of tribulation leading up to 2nd coming.

In Matt 24:36 Jesus begins to answer the question of when He will be returning.

It will be just like in Noah’s day when people didn’t believe Noah and were surprised when it started raining. In the same way, even when people are in the tribulation, experiencing the wrath of God, many are still not going to believe.

So, the when it says „two will be in the field, and one will be taken…” the one taken will be taken to judgment. And the appearance of the thief in the next section is to judge the unbelieving. They didn’t believe the thief was coming. They didn’t believe that God was coming to hold them accountable.

I think that this theme of judging the unbelieving is continued in these next four parables. Although the text doesn’t use the word believe, those that get judged all have actions that indicate they didn’t believe. And their judgment is severe: they get cut to pieces, locked outside, sent to the outer darkness, etc.

And in each parable those who are judged are contrasted to others who not only believed, but were prepared, faithful, fruitful, etc. And those got rewarded for their faithfulness.

We talked about it a couple weeks ago, but this is what some call „Matthew’s rejection imagery.” He always mixes rewards for some with eternal damnation for others, like it all happens at the same event. It sort of makes you wonder if perhaps it does? But then that would make us amillennial or something like that.

Anyway, I want to give you the plot up front. Because I’m going to be discussing other views mixed with my views (notice I didn’t say „the correct view”), I think it might be helpful to have the „Big Idea” in your heads as we study the parables.

These parables are designed to teach the immanent return of Christ. It could be real soon, or it could be a long time away. But either way, we need to go ahead and live our lives but stay prepared. We need to live and work like the master is going to be back any minute. Because we are going to be rewarded for how hard we worked while he was gone.

Wise and Evil Slaves contrasted

Matthew 24:45-51 also in Luke 12:41-48

Some say because these are slaves, they are both saved. And some say that there is only one slave in the parable. The slave starts off being faithful, but then changes later in life and becomes an unfaithful, evil slave. Dillow makes a big deal out of the word „that” in vs 48 saying that it proves that this is the same slave. And since the slave was once very faithful, he must now just be carnal. Since he was saved, he still is saved, but just carnal or unfaithful, he does not go to hell. He just loses rewards and is very sad.

But, concerning the idea that „since they are both slaves, they are both saved” – In all of Jesus’ parables he contrasts two or three people with the same social status. How else is he going to create tension and contrast? He always uses slaves and sons because God is the Master of all. Slaves and sons are the natural examples to represent this relationship between God and man. The idea behind all these parables is that humans have an equal opportunity to respond, believe, etc. Some do, and some don’t. And here’s what’s going to happen to them.

Concerning the idea that this is one slave who changes. The phrase „if that slave” does refer back to this hypothetical slave. This is not a story about a slave who later in life started backsliding. Jesus is just giving an example.

Jesus is saying: Let’s take a slave… If that slave does this… he will be rewarded. However, if that slave does this… he will be cut into pieces.

He is a wise slave if he believes and anticipates master’s return and faithfully carries out the master’s orders. If he does this, he will be rewarded.

He is an evil slave if he doesn’t believe his master will return.

If the slave takes no note of the coming return and deludes himself into thinking either it will never happen or that he will have time to reform, he will be severely punished. It says he will be cut to pieces.

I believe “cut off” may be a better translation because in Qumran literature this word is used for excommunication and being cut off from the rest of the group. And I think the idea of separation fits better with the context – the punishment that all the bad guys receive in this string of parables is separation from God. Either way, it is severe punishment. Perhaps too severe for a believer?

Application:

This represents a universal principle. If a person doesn’t really believe that there is a God who will hold them accountable when they die, they aren’t very likely to feel a need to “trust” in God or obey his commandments.

I’ve also heard of people who believed that there was a God and he would hold them accountable, but they didn’t want to change their lifestyle and figured they would just „get religion” later. This parable speaks to them too. You never know when God will return or if you will die in a car wreck tomorrow.

We also see the result is a lifestyle that is abusive (beat his fellow slaves) and destructive (eat and drink with drunkards.)

Speaking of „beating his fellow slaves.” Some say because he beat his fellow slaves then he must be saved because they were his fellow slaves. My question is „who else is a slave going to beat?” Free men? If he is going to be abusive to his fellow man, it has got to be another slave. We can’t read into this „a salvation relationship with God” because of his association with other slaves. Just like we can’t read into the passage that because we have two slaves, we have two saved people in view.

Ten Virgins

This is a much debated parable. No one can agree what anything means.

“Virgins” – Some say that they are called “virgins” to emphasize their purity and that this means all ten were Christians (Dillow). Most say they represent people in the tribulation.

“Lamps” People argue whether these were little bowl lamps or torches. Then they argue about what the lamps represent. Some think the lamps and their light represent knowledge. Stedman says the ladies each had light to start with. Which would equate to people having a certain degree of knowledge about the Lord’s return. But for five of them, that knowledge was just academic. It really hadn’t gripped them.

Others think the lamps represents works which are the believer’s „light” or testimony to the world.

The light was supplied by the oil, and therefore it was absolutely essential that they have an adequate supply of oil, otherwise their light would go out. So what does the oil represent.

“Oil” – Some say it is the Holy Spirit (Walvoord, Stedman), some say it is works, others say it is faith.

Here is an example of the type of reasoning you run across when reading the commentators.

In verse 3 we have one of the major interpretive problems of the parable. What does the olive-oil represent? There is a quick answer that suggest that the olive-oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. However that interpretation must be resisted because the Holy Spirit is a gift and cannot be bought. The instructions to go and buy some more would make no sense at all in the case of the Holy Spirit. I think the answer must be found in seeing that the oil is only important when it is set on fire. In other words when it is giving light. The symbol of light rather than oil helps us because then we realize that Jesus is talking about the good works of the believer which he/she does before men which constitutes them the light of the world. The foolish virgins had no oil therefore they had no works with which to greet the bride-groom.1

His argument against this being the Holy Spirit because you can’t buy the Holy Spirit doesn’t make any sense. You can’t buy works or faith either. So that is no argument. It is a good example of one’s conclusion driving his reasons. When I come across a paragraph like that, it makes me want to stop reading the rest of the paper because I question the validity of any of his arguments.

If you think the oil is works, then you have to decide if the five foolish ladies were saved or not. If they were not saved, then the lack of works proved that they were not saved (lordship view). And not getting into the banquet is the same as not getting into heaven.

If you think the ladies were saved, then you will say that the ladies didn’t get any rewards. And that the banquet represents rewards or reigning with Christ (Free Grace view).

Some say that the foolish virgins had oil to start with (Dillow) and so had faith and so were saved. But others argue that that is not necessarily so (Walvoord). It says they rose, trimmed their lamps and lit them. But since they did not have oil in them, they immediately went out. So, it is more probable that they didn’t have any oil to start with.

What do I think?

Because this parable starts off with “the kingdom of heaven is like…” I think it is a salvation parable. Matthew uses this phrase eleven times and in the other parables where this phrase is used, the parables are about salvation and getting into the kingdom of heaven. Maybe I should say that out of these eleven parables. They are clearly about salvation or debated. None are clearly not about salvation.

The term virgins is not significant. The idea is just that they were young unmarried ladies. The term “virgin” was often used that way. Perhaps bridesmaids would be a better term.

Five are prepared – have their own oil. Five are unprepared – couldn’t borrow oil. I think that the symbolism is that you can’t get into heaven with someone else’s faith.

Banquet imagery to an Israelite is a reference to kingdom with God and His bride, Israel. This is not the Bema and wedding feast with Christ and Church. Remember the context is judgment at the 2nd coming, not the rapture.

The five were left outside (never made it in banquet hall as in Matt 22). So if you go to Matt 22 and make a big deal about the fact that the guy without wedding clothes made it into the banquet and was therefore saved, then those that argue that the virgins are saved (to be consistent with their interpretation of Matt 22) have to reconcile the fact that here they didn’t get in.

The Lord didn’t know them – cf. Matt 7:21 which is the same statement and those clearly do not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Once the door was closed, it was too late to enter. Those who are shut out miss not simply a fine meal, but also the kingdom itself. Similar imagery to Luke 13:22–29 which talks about the narrow door, not being known by the Lord, banquet imagery and weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Application:

Where the last parable taught that the Lord could return sooner than expected, this one teaches that there may be quite a delay before the Lord returns. We know that in fact there has been. It’s been almost 2,000 years so far. Both the wise and foolish virgins slept. But they are not condemned for it. Perhaps the point is that we need to go ahead and live our lives. Not sell everything and go wait on the mountain top for the Lord’s return.The main point of the parable is that even if it might be a long time before the Lord returns, don’t wait until the last minute to get prepared, because you never know when that last minute will be and you may miss out.

And I think preparation is faith.

Talents

Another Kingdom of heaven is like parable – “it is like” refers back to 25:1 – Some try to say this is different because 25:14 doesn’t say “kingdom,” but the “it” has to have an antecedent. What else are you going to link the “it” to?

Big debate is whether or not the slaves represent saved people or not. Some try to argue that since they were all slaves, they were all saved. We’ve already dealt with that assumption.

But, there is a big contrast going on between the first two slaves and the third slave. The third slave did not know the master. He thought he understood what was required of him, but he was wrong. Maybe it is like the person who thinks he will get into heaven for being mostly good.

When confronted by the master, this wicked slave argued beligerantly and attempted to make his laziness a necessity and a virtue. By defaming the master, portraying him as one who enriched himself by exploiting others, he attempted to excuse his own actions. When I read his response, my thought is this: There may be shame at the Bema seat when Christ reveals our deeds, but not defiance. Does this sound like a Christian at the Bema seat? Does it sound like he “knows” the Master? Therefore, I have difficulty thinking that this third slave is saved.

This man seems to have given in to some cunning reasoning. It is much like the thinking of Judas Iscariot when he sold his Lord. Judas reasoned, if He is really the Messiah, my betrayal will not hurt anything and I will get my money from the High Priest. If He is not the Messiah, then at least I get the money. This one-talent man reasoned somewhat the same way. His lord was going on a far journey. If the servant put the money in the bank, he would have to register it in his lord’s name. Then when his lord did not come back, his heirs could claim it. He reasoned, however, that if be buried it in the backyard, there would be no record. If his master did not come back, the servant would have it for himself. If he does come back, he could not accuse him of dishonesty because he could produce the talent. It was a cunning that was built upon uncertainty that the Lord was returning. He just did not believe that his lord was coming back. If he had, he would have handled the money differently. This is what the lord meant when be said that he was a wicked servant.2

The mixture of rewards and judgment – fits Matthew’s rejection imagery. He usually globs these together like an OT prophet did when looking at the 1st and 2nd advents of Christ. Also, the Bible talks about rewards and loss of rewards (1 Cor 3:15) at Bema, not rewards and judgment. So, I think we must be careful not to say that, because some got rewards, we are at the Bema and all were saved, and the third guy just lost rewards. I think his punishment is too severe.

The description of the servant’s attitude suggests something qualitatively different from the other two servants found faithful. There is a definite contrast going on here. The works are indicative of the relationship with the master. The third slave had no works which in the gospels is the same as having no faith.

Free grace people balk at this statement because Lordship people think the logical conclusion is that one has to have good works to prove that he is saved. In the gospels we do have statements like when Jesus says, “Why do you call me Lord and do not do what I say?” But when we read Paul we get in to issues such as carnality, getting to heaven as though through fire, etc. So we know that works don’t always follow. But when we are dealing with parables, we need to let them use their terminology.

Sheep and Goats

We see the Son of Man coming in glory with his angels. This is the second coming, not the rapture.

Judgment results in entrance to heaven or being sent to hell.

The rejection of the goats was not based on what they did, but on what they failed to do. It was a sin of omission toward “the least of these” (cf. the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19–31). God abhors not simply the performing of sinful acts but also the omission of deeds. Failure to do good is in fact to do evil. In addition the free gift of grace (as represented in Matt 20:1–16) has to be reconciled with the role of works (as here in 25:31–46 {Matt 25}). The works are the fruit that demonstrates the reality of the conversion of one’s heart. The love shown by these deeds of mercy springs from true faith. As Walvoord affirms, “What is presented here is not the basis or ground of salvation but the evidence of it…. Accordingly, while works are not the ground of justification for salvation, they can be the fruit or evidence of it.”

Since our section started off with judgment resulting in hell and Since it is clear from this parable that they are judged by their works and sent to hell for not having the works – which represent faith – why do people have such a difficult time believing that the parables in between say the same basic thing?

Summary

In summary several points are worth highlighting.

First, in each parable the judgment occurs at the consummation of this age. While the timing of that event is unknown, each follower is to be ready for and anticipate the coming kingdom.

Second, the essential nature of the judgment is soteriological. The judgment will render decisions that are eternal in nature, reflecting the status of each human being with regard to his or her eternal relationship to the kingdom. Phrases such as “the darkness outside,” the “fiery furnace,” and “weeping and gnashing of teeth” describe eternal separation from the kingdom. They are not simply expressions of grief over a Christian life that did not count for much in the kingdom, for they are figures and phrases representing an eternal exclusion from the presence of God. With this in view, it has been suggested that salvation in these parables is viewed as a “whole,” not simply as a point of entry. The “sons of the kingdom” and the “sons of the evil one” (Matt 13:38) are on opposite sides of the soteriological divide. There is no room for purgatory, universalism, or a view that some may miss the heavenly “banquet” while yet retaining a right to entry into the kingdom (i.e. “salvation,” in Pauline terms). Those who are rejected are permanently excluded.

Third, the basis for this eternal judgment is the individual’s works. In some cases the emphasis is on faithfulness to a job assigned: perhaps in a picture of preparation for an event, or a picture of the fruit of the believer. But however it was pictured, works were the key to the judgment.

What complicates the problem is that the decision for rejection or acceptance is presented as a soteriological decision based on these works. Such a judgment is highlighted by the parables of the Wheat and the Tares (perhaps along with the Narrow Door and the Virgins) in which those who appear to fit into the proper categories do not do so (even when they think they do) since they were not properly prepared for the kingdom. Perhaps the clearest example is the parable of the Sheep and the Goats, in which eternal life and eternal perdition are the options meted out based on how people treated the followers of the Son of Man.

Works are not separated from the faith one exercises for entrance to the kingdom for works are evidence of that faith. A true change of heart will be reflected in a person’s life. A lack of that change is apparently enough to prevent entrance into the eschatological kingdom (the goats are prohibited from entrance because of their actions while the sheep are given entrance because of their works); but works are never ultimately separated from the faith of the individual, for it was also shown that works are not in themselves enough to impress the Son of Man positively in His role as judge (cf. Matt 7:21–23).

Paul wrote with different emphases in mind, focusing clearly on the entrance requirements into salvation, namely, justification by faith. While the Synoptics support the role of faith in establishing one’s relationship with God (usually in phrases such as “repent and believe the gospel”), they tend to emphasize the whole life of faith for the believer. In other words the life of a follower of Jesus is to be a constant exercise of faith in order to obey and please God. Paul clearly recognized this same truth, for he knew that something started by faith cannot be perfected by works (the burden of Galatians).

Conclusion

These parables are designed to teach the immanent return of Christ. It could be real soon, or it could be a long time away. But either way, we need to be go ahead and live our lives (sleep like the virgins did) but stay prepared. We need to live and work like the master is going to be back any minute (like the faithful servant did), because we are going to be rewarded for how hard we worked while he was gone (parable of talents).

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Ray Comfort interviewing people about Noah

In the time of Noah, people were going about their daily lives, not mindful of the impending destruction. Like them, are we ignoring warnings of God’s coming judgment? The Bible gives us clear signs of the last days. Did you know the Scriptures say we will see:

• Flippant use of God’s name
• Money-hungry preachers and rampant hypocrisy in the church
• Wars and rumors of wars
• Denial of a global flood

But surely no educated person could believe that Noah and his ark ever really existed. Wouldn’t it be impossible to fit millions of species of animals into one boat? And what evidence is there (if any) for a worldwide catastrophic flood? However…what if it did all happen exactly as the Bible says? What would that mean? Who was Noah, and why is the amazing account of his life so relevant to you in the 21st century? Don’t be caught unaware. Time may be very short. Will you be ready?

A movie by Ray Comfort. This is not the Russell Crowe film.

VIDEO by Living Waters / The Way of the Master

366 prophecies foretold in the Old Testament and then fulfilled by Jesus in the New Testament

Isaiah prophecies Christ Photo credit http://kingdomnewtestament.com

There are at least 1,800 prophecies in the Old Testament.

The astounding list below is of Old Testament prophecies that Jesus already fulfilled in the New Testament:

1. Genesis 3:15…..Seed of a woman (virgin birth)…..Luke 1:35, Matthew 1:18-20
2. Genesis 3:15…..He will bruise Satan’s head…..Hebrews 2:14, 1 John 3:18
3. Genesis 5:24….The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated….Mark 6:19
4. Genesis 9:26-27…The God of Shem will be the Son of Shem…Luke 3:36
5. Genesis 12:3…As Abraham’s seed, will bless all nations…Acts 3:25,26
6. Genesis 12:7…The The Promise made made to Abraham’s Seed…Galatians 3:16
7. Genesis 14:18…A priest after Melchizedek…Hebrews 6:20
8. Genesis 14:18……..A King also……..Hebrews 7:2
9. Genesis 14:18…The Last Supper foreshadowed…Matthew 26:26-29
10. Genesis 17:19…….The Seed of Isaac…….Romans. 9:7
11. Genesis 21:12 …Seed of Isaac…Romans 9:7, Hebrews 11:18
12. Genesis 22:8…The Lamb of God promised…John 1:29
13. Genesis 22:18…As Isaac’s seed, will bless all nations…Galatians 3:16
14. Genesis26:2-5..The Seed of Isaac promised as the Redeemer..Hebrews11:18
15. Genesis 49:10…The time of His coming…Luke 2:1-7; Galatians 4:4
16. Genesis 49:10…….The Seed of Judah…….Luke 3:33
17. Genesis 49:10……Called Shiloh or One Sent……John 17:3
18. Genesis 49:10…To come before Judah lost identity…John 11:47-52
19. Genesis 49:10…To Him shall the obedience of the people be…John 10:16
20. Exodus 3:13,14……..The Great „I Am”…….John 4:26
21. Exodus 12:5…A Lamb without blemish…1 Pet. 1:19
22. Exodus 12:13…The blood of the Lamb saves Romans wrath…Romans. 5:8
23. Exodus 12:21-27…Christ is our Passover…1 Corinthians 5;7
24. Exodus 12:46…Not a bone of the Lamb to be broken…John 19:31-36
25. Exodus 13:2…Blessing to first born son…Luke 2:23
26. Exodus 15:2…His exaltation predicted as Yeshua…Acts 7:55,56
27. Exodus 15:11…His Character-Holiness…Luke 1:35; Acts 4:27
28. Exodus 17:6…The Spiritual Rock of Israel…1 Corinthians 10;4
29. Exodus 33:19…His Character-Merciful…Luke 1:72
30. Leviticus14:11…The leper cleansed-Sign to priesthood..Luke5:12-14; Acts 6:7
31. Leviticus16:15-17…Prefigures Christ’s once-for-all death…Hebrews 9:7-14
32. Leviticus16:27…Suffering outside the Camp…Matthew 27:33; Hebrews 13:11, 12
33. Leviticus17:11…The Blood-the life of the flesh…Matthew 26;28; Mark 10:45
34. Leviticus17:11…It is the blood that makes atonement…1 John 3:14-18
35. Leviticus23:36-37…The Drink-offering: „If any man thirst.” ..John 19:31-36
36. Numbers 9:12…Not a bone of Him broken…John 19:31-36
37. Numbers 21:9…The serpent on a pole-Christ lifted up…John 3:14-18
38. Numbers 24:8… Flight to Egypt…Matthew 2:14
39. Numbers 24:17…Time: „I shall see him, but not now.”…Galatians 4:4
40. Numbers 24:17-19…A star out of Jacob…Matthew 2:2, Luke 1:33,78, Revelation 22:16
41. Deuteronomy 18:15…”This is of a truth that prophet.”…John 6:14
42. Deuteronomy 18:15-16…”Had ye believed Moses, ye would believe me.”…John 5:45-47
43. Deuteronomy 18:18…Sent by the Father to speak His word…John 8:28, 29
44. Deuteronomy 18:19…Whoever will not hear must bear his sin…John 12:15
45. Deuteronomy 21:13-23…As a prophet…John 6:14; 7:40, Acts 3:22,23
46. Deuteronomy 21:23…Cursed is he that hangs on a tree…Galatians 3:10-13
47. Ruth 4:4-9…Christ, our kinsman, has redeemed us…Ephesians 1:3-7
48. 1 Samuel 2:10…Shall be an anointed King to the Lord…Matthew 28:18; John 12:15
49. 2 Samuel 7:12…David’s Seed…Matthew 1:1
50. 2 Samuel 7:14a…The Son of God… Luke 1:32
51. 2 Samuel 7:16…David’s house established forever…Luke 3:31; Rev. 22:16
52. 2 Samuel 23:2-4…would be the „Rock”…1 Corinthians 10:4
53. 2 Samuel 23:2-4…would be as the „light of the morning”…Revelation 22:16
54. 2 Kings 2:11…The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated…Luke 24:51
55. 1 Chronicles 17:11…David’s Seed…Matthew 1:1; 9:27
56. 1 Chronicles 17:12, 13a…To reign on David’s throne forever…Luke 1:32, 33
57. 1 Chronicles 17:13a…”I will be His Father, He…my Son.”…Hebrews 1:5
58. Job 19:23-27…The Resurrection predicted…John 5:24-29
59. Psalms 2:1-3…The enmity of kings foreordained…Acts 4:25-28
60. Psalms 2:2…To own the title, Anointed (Christ)…Acts 2:36
61. Psalms 2:6…His Character-Holiness…John 8:46; Rev. 3:7
62. Psalms 2:6…To own the title King…Matthew 2:2
63. Psalms 2:7…Declared the Beloved Son…Matthew 3:17
64. Psalms 2:7, 8…The Crucifixion and Resurrection intimated…Acts 13:29-33
65. Psalms 2:12…Life comes through faith in Him…John 20:31
66. Psalms 8:2…The mouths of babes perfect His praise…Matthew 21:16
67. Psalms 8:5, 6…His humiliation and exaltation…Luke 24:50-53; 1 Corinthians 15:27
68. Psalms 16:10…Was not to see corruption…Acts 2:31
69. Psalms 16:9-11…Was to arise from the dead…John 20:9
70. Psalms 17;15…The resurrection predicted…Luke 24:6
71. Psalms 22:1…Forsaken because of sins of others…2 Corinthians 5:21
72. Psalms 22:1…Words spoken from Calvary, „My God…” Mark 15:34
73. Psalms 22:2…Darkness upon Calvary…Matthew 27:45
74. Psalms 22:7…They shoot out the lip and shake the head…Matthew 27:39
75. Psalms 22:8..” He trusted in God, let Him deliver Him „…Matthew 27:43
76. Psalms 22:9……Born the Savior……Luke 2:7
77. Psalms 22:14…Died of a broken (ruptured) heart…John 19:34
78. Psalms 22:14,15…Suffered agony on Calvary…Mark 15:34-37
79. Psalms 22:15……..He thirsted……..John 19:28
80. Psalms 22:16…They pierced His hands and His feet….John 19:34,37;20:27
81. Psalms 22:17,18…Stripped Him before the stares of men…Luke 23:34,35
82. Psalms 22:18…..They parted His garments…..John 19:23,24
83. Psalms 22:20,21…He committed Himself to God…Luke23:46
84. Psalms 22:20,21..Satanic power bruising the Redeemer’s heel.. Hebrews 2:14
85. Psalms 22:22…..His Resurrection declared…..John 20:17
86. Psalms 22:27…He shall be the governor of the nations…Col 1:16
87. Psalms 22:31……”It is finished”……John 19:30
88. Psalms 23:1….”I am the Good Shepherd”….John 10:11
89. Psalms 24:3……His exaltation predicted……Acts 1:11; Phil. 2:9
90. Psalms 27:12…Accused by false witnesses…Matthew 26:60,61, Mark 14:57,58
91. Psalms 30:3……His resurrection predicted……Acts 2:32
92. Psalms 31:5…”Into thy hands I commit my spirit”…Luke 23:46
93. Psalms 31:11…His acquaintances fled from Him…Mark 14:50
94. Psalms 31:13…They took counsel to put Him to death…John 11:53
95. Psalms 31:14,15…” He trusted in God, let Him deliver him”…Matthew 27:43
96. Psalms 34:20…..Not a bone of Him broken…..John 19:31-36
97. Psalms 35:11….False witnesses rose up against Him….Matthew 26:59
98. Psalms 35:19…He was hated without a cause…John 15:25
99. Psalms 38:11…..His friends stood afar off…..Luke 23:49
100. Psalms 40:2-5…The joy of His resurrection predicted…John 20:20
101. Psalms 40:6-8….His delight-the will of the Father….John 4:34
102. Psalms 40:9….He was to preach the Righteousness in Israel….Matthew 4:17
103. Psalms 40:14…Confronted by adversaries in the Garden…John
104. Psalms 41:9…..Betrayed by a familiar friend…..John 13:18
105. Psalms 45:2…Words of Grace come from His lips.. Luke 4:22
106. Psalms 45:6…To own the title, God or Elohim…Hebrews 1:8
107. Psalms 45:7…A special anointing by the Holy Spirit…Matthew3:16; Hebrews1:9
108. Psalms 45:7,8…Called the Christ (Messiah or Anointed)…Luke 2:11
109. Psalms 49-15…His Resurrection…Acts 2:27; 13:35, Mark 16:6
110. Psalms 55:12-14…Betrayed by a friend, not an enemy…John 13:18
111. Psalms 55:15…Unrepentant death of the Betrayer…Matthew 27:3-5; Acts 1:16-19
112. Psalms 68:18…To give gifts to men…Ephesians 4:7-16
113. Psalms 68:18…Ascended into Heaven…Luke 24:51
114. Psalms 69:4…Hated without a cause…John 15:25
115. Psalms 69:8…A stranger to own brethren…Luke 8;20,21
116. Psalms 69:9…Zealous for the Lord’s House…John 2:17
117. Psalms 69:14-20…Messiah’s anguish of soul before crucifixion…Matthew 26:36-45
118. Psalms 69:20…”My soul is exceeding sorrowful.”…Matthew 26:38
119. Psalms 69:21…Given vinegar in thirst…Matthew 27:34
120. Psalms 69:26…The Savior given and smitten by God…John 17:4; 18:11
121. Psalms 72:10,11…Great persons were to visit Him…Matthew 2:1-11
122. Psalms 72:16…The corn of wheat to fall into the Ground…John 12:24
123. Psalms 72:17…His name, Yinon, will produce offspring…John 1:12,13
124. Psalms 72:17…All nations shall be blessed by Him…Acts 2:11,12,41
125. Psalms 78:1.2…He would teach in parables…Matthew 13:34-35
126. Psalms 78:2b…To speak the Wisdom of God with authority…Matthew 7:29
127. Psalms 88:8…They stood afar off and watched…Luke 23:49
128. Psalms 89:26…Messiah will call God His Father…Matthew 11:27
129. Psalms 89:27…Emmanuel to be higher than earthly kings…Luke 1:32,33
130. Psalms 89:35-37…David’s Seed, throne, kingdom endure forever…Luke 1:32,33
131. Psalms 89:36-37…His character-Faithfulness…Rev. 1:5
132. Psalms 90:2…He is from everlasting (Micah 5:2)…John 1:1
133. Psalms 91:11,12…Identified as Messianic; used to tempt Christ…Luke 4;10,11
134. Psalms 97:9…His exaltation predicted…Acts 1:11;Ephesians 1:20
135. Psalms 100:5…His character-Goodness…Matthew 19:16,17
136. Psalms 102:1-11…The Suffering and Reproach of Calvary…John 21:16-30
137. Psalms 102:16…Son of Man comes in Glory…Luke 21:24
Revelation 12:5-10
138. Psalms 102:25-27…Messiah is the Preexistent Son…Hebrews 1:10-12
139. Psalms 109:4…Prays for His enemies…Luke 23:34
140. Psalms 109:7,8…Another to succeed Judas…Acts 1:16-20
141. Psalms 109:25…Ridiculed…Matthew 27:39
142. Psalms 110:1…Son of David…Matthew 22:43
143. Psalms 110:1…To ascend to the right-hand of the Father…Mark16:19
144. Psalms 110:1…David’s son called Lord…Matthew 22:44,45
145. Psalms 110:4…A priest after Melchizedek’s order…Hebrews 6:20
146. Psalms 112:4…His character-Compassionate, Gracious, et al… Matthew 9;36
147. Psalms 118:17,18…Messiah’s Resurrection assured…Luke 24:5-7;1 Corinthians 15:20
148. Psalms 118:22,23…The rejected stone is Head of the corner…Matthew 21:42,43
149. Psalms 118:26a…The Blessed One presented to Israel…Matthew 21:9
150. Psalms 118:26b…To come while Temple standing…Matthew 21;12-15
151. Psalms 132:11…The Seed of David (the fruit of His Body)…Luke 1:32
152. Psalms 138:1-6…The supremacy of David’s Seed amazes kings… Matthew 2:2-6
153. Psalms 147:3,6…The earthly ministry of Christ described…Luke 4:18
154. Psalms 1:23…He will send the Spirit of God… John 16;7
155. Proverbs 8:22-23…The Messiah would be from everlasting…John 17:5
156. Proverbs 30:4…Declared to be the Son of God…John 3:13, Romans 1:2-4, 10:6-9, 2 Peter 1:17
157. Song of Solomon 5:16…The altogether lovely One…John 1:17
158. Isaiah 2:2-4…Repentance for the nations…Luke 24:47
159. Isaiah 4:2…Messiah reigning
160. Isaiah 5:1-6…Son of God’s vineyard: a parable of judgment
161. Isaiah 6:1…When Isaiah saw His glory… John 12:40-41
162. Isaiah 6:9-10…Parables fall on deaf ears…Matthew 13:13-15
163. Isaiah 6:9-12…Blinded to Christ and deaf to His words…Acts 28:23-29
164. Isaiah 7:14…To be born of a virgin…Luke 1:35
165. Isaiah 7:14…To be Emmanuel-God with us… Matthew 1:18-23
166. Isaiah 8:8…Called Emmanuel…Matthew 28:20
167. Isaiah 8:14…A stone of stumbling, a Rock of offense… 1 Pet. 2:8
168. Isaiah 9:1,2…His ministry to begin in Galilee…Matthew 4:12-17
169. Isaiah 9:6…A child born-Humanity…Luke 1:31
170. Isaiah 9:6…A Son given-Deity…Luke 1:32; John 1;14; 1 Tim. 3:16
171. Isaiah 9:6…Declared to be the Son of God with power… Romans. 1:3,4
172. Isaiah 9:6…The Wonderful One, Peleh…Luke 4:22
173. Isaiah 9:6…The Counselor, Yaatz…Matthew 13:54
174. Isaiah 9:6…The Mighty God, El Gibor…Matthew 11:20
175. Isaiah 9:6…The Everlasting Father, Avi Adth…John 8:58
176. Isaiah 9:6…The Prince of Peace, Sar Shalom…John . 16:33
177. Isaiah 9:7…To establish an everlasting kingdom…Luke 1:32-33
178. Isaiah 9:7…His Character-Just…John 5:30
179. Isaiah 9:7…No end to his Government, Throne, and Peace…Luke 1:32-33
180. Isaiah 11:1…Called a Nazarene-the Branch, Netzer…Matthew 2:23
181. Isaiah 11:1…A rod out of Jesse-Son of Jesse…Luke 3:23,32
182. Isaiah 11:2…The anointed One by the Spirit…Matthew 3;16,17
183. Isaiah 11:2…His Character-Wisdom, Understanding, et al….John 4:4-26
184. Isaiah 11:4…His Character-Truth…John 14:6
185. Isaiah 11:10…The Gentiles seek Him…John 12:18-21
186. Isaiah 12:2…Called Jesus-Yeshua (salvation)…Matthew 1:21
187. Isaiah 16:4,5…Reigning in mercy…Luke 1:31-33
188. Isaiah 22:21-25…Peg in a sure place…Revelation 3:7
189. Isaiah 25:8…The Resurrection predicted…I Corinthians 15:54
190. Isaiah 26:19…His power of Resurrection predicted…John 11:43,44
191. Isaiah 28:16…The Messiah is the precious corner stone…Acts 4:11,12
192. Isaiah 29:13…He indicated hypocritical obedience to His Word…Matthew 15:7-9
193. Isaiah 29:14…The wise are confounded by the Word…I Corinthians 1:18-31
194. Isaiah 32:2…A Refuge-A man shall be a hiding place…Matthew 23:37
195. Isaiah 33:22…Son of the Highest…Luke 1:32; 1 Timothy 1:17 6:15
196. Isaiah 35:4…He will come and save you…Matthew 1:21
197. Isaiah 35:5…To have a ministry of miracles…Matthew 11:4-6
198. Isaiah 40:3,4…Preceded by forerunner…John 1:23
199. Isaiah 40:9…”Behold your God.”…John 1:36;19:14
200. Isaiah 40:11…A shepherd-compassionate life-giver…John 10:10-18
201. Isaiah 42:1-4…The Servant-as a faithful, patient redeemer… Matthew12:18-21
202. Isaiah 42:2…Meek and lowly… Matthew 11:28-30
203. Isaiah 42:3…He brings hope for the hopeless… John 4
204. Isaiah 42:4…The nations shall wait on His teachings… John 12:20-26
205. Isaiah 42:6…The Light (salvation) of the Gentiles…Luke 2:32
206. Isaiah 42:1,6…His is a Worldwide compassion… Matthew 28:19,20
207. Isaiah 42:7…Blind eyes opened… John 9:25-38
208. Isaiah 42:13-25…Messiah’s actions at His second coming…Revelation
209. Isaiah 43:11…He is the only Savior… Acts 4:12
210. Isaiah 44:3…He will send the Spirit of God… John 16:7,13
211. Isaiah 45:23…He will be the Judge… John 5:22;Romans. 14:11
212. Isaiah 48:12…The First and the Last…John 1:30;Rev. 1:8,17
213. Isaiah 48:17…He came as a Teacher…John 3:2
214. Isaiah 49:1…Called from the womb-His humanity…Matthew 1:18
215. Isaiah 49:5…A Servant from the womb…Luke 1:31;Phil. 2:7
216. Isaiah 49:6…He is Salvation for Israel…Luke 2:29-32
217. Isaiah 49:6…He is the Light of the Gentiles…Acts 13:47
218. Isaiah 49:6…He is Salvation unto the ends of the earth… Acts 15:7-18
219. Isaiah 49:7…He is despised of the Nation… John 8:48-49
220. Isaiah 50:3…Heaven is clothed in black at His humiliation… Luke 23:44,45
221. Isaiah 50:4…He is a learned counselor for the weary… Matthew 11:28,29
222. Isaiah 50:5…The Servant bound willingly to obedience… Matthew 26:39
223. Isaiah 50:6a…”I gave my back to the smiters.”… Matthew 27:26
224. Isaiah 50:6b…He was smitten on the cheeks… Matthew 26:67
225. Isaiah 50:6c…He was spat upon… Matthew 27:30
226. Isaiah 52:4-5…Suffered vicariously…Mark 15:3,4,27,28; Luke 23:1-25,32-34
227. Isaiah 52:7…To publish good tidings of peace… Luke 4:14,15
228. Isaiah 52:13…The Servant exalted…Acts 1:8-11; Ephesians 1:19-22
229. Isaiah 52:13…Behold, My Servant… Matthew 17:5; Phil. 2:5-8
230. Isaiah 52:14…The Servant shockingly abused… Luke 18:31-34; Matthew 26:67,68
231. Isaiah 52:15…Nations startled by message of the Servant… Romans. 15:18-21
232. Isaiah 52:15…His blood shed to make atonement for all… Rev. 1:5
233. Isaiah 53:1…His people would not believe Him… John 12:37-38
234. Isaiah 53:2a…He would grow up in a poor family…. Luke 2:7
235. Isaiah 53:2b…Appearance of an ordinary man… Phil. 2:7-8
236. Isaiah 53:3a…Despised…. Luke 4:28-29
237. Isaiah 53:3b…Rejected… Matthew 27:21-23
238. Isaiah 53:3c…Great sorrow and grief… Luke 19:41-42
239. Isaiah 53:3d…Men hide from being associated with Him… Mark 14:50-52
240. Isaiah 53:4a…He would have a healing ministry… Luke 6:17-19
241. Isaiah 53:4b…He would bear the sins of the world… 1 Pet. 2:24
242. Isaiah 53:4c…Thought to be cursed by God… Matthew 27:41-43
243. Isaiah 53:5a…Bears penalty for mankind’s transgressions… Luke 23:33
244. Isaiah 53:5b…His sacrifice would provide peace between man and God… Col. 1:20
245. Isaiah 53:5c…His back would be whipped… Matthew 27:26
246. Isaiah 53:6a…He would be the sin-bearer for all mankind…Galatians 1:4
247. Isaiah 53:6b…God’s will that He bear sin for all mankind… 1 John 4:10
248. Isaiah 53:7a…Oppressed and afflicted… Matthew 27:27-31
249. Isaiah 53:7b…Silent before his accusers… Matthew 27:12-14
250. Isaiah 53:7c…Sacrificial lamb… John 1:29
251. Isaiah 53:8a…Confined and persecuted… Matthew 26:47-27:31
252. Isaiah 53:8b…He would be judged… John 18:13-22
253. Isaiah 53:8c…Killed…. Matthew 27:35
254. Isaiah 53:8d…Dies for the sins of the world… 1 John 2:2
255. Isaiah 53:9a…Buried in a rich man’s grave… Matthew 27:57
256. Isaiah 53:9b…Innocent and had done no violence… Mark 15:3
257. Isaiah 53:9c…No deceit in his mouth… John 18:38
258. Isaiah 53:10a…God’s will that He die for mankind… John 18:11
259. Isaiah 53:10b…An offering for sin… Matthew 20:28
260. Isaiah 53:10c…Resurrected and live forever…. Mark 16:16
261. Isaiah 53:10d…He would prosper… John 17:1-5
262. Isaiah 53:11a…God fully satisfied with His suffering… John 12:27
263. Isaiah 53:11b…God’s servant… Romans. 5:18-19
264. Isaiah 53:11c…He would justify man before God… Romans. 5:8-9
265. Isaiah 53:11d…The sin-bearer for all mankind… Hebrews 9:28
266. Isaiah 53:12a…Exalted by God because of his sacrifice… Matthew 28:18
267. Isaiah 53:12b…He would give up his life to save mankind… Luke 23:46
268. Isaiah 53:12c…Grouped with criminals… Luke 23:32
269. Isaiah 53:12d…Sin-bearer for all mankind… 2 Corinthians 5:21
270. Isaiah 53:12e…Intercede to God in behalf of mankind… Luke 23:34
271. Isaiah 55:1…Every one come who is thirsty…New Testament
272. Isaiah 55:3…Resurrected by God… Acts 13:34
273. Isaiah 55:4…A witness… John 18:37
274. Isaiah 55:5…Foreign nations come to God…Acts
275. Isaiah 59:15-16a…He would come to provide salvation… John 6:40
276. Isaiah 59:15-16b…Intercessor between man and God… Matthew 10:32
277. Isaiah 59:20…He would come to Zion as their Redeemer… Luke 2:38
278. Isaiah 60:1-3…Nations walk in the light…Luke 2:32
279. Isaiah 61:1-2a…The Spirit of God upon him… Matthew 3:16-17
280. Isaiah 61:1-2b…The Messiah would preach the good news… Luke 4:17-21
281. Isaiah 61:1-2c…Provide freedom from the bondage of sin and death… John 8:31-32
282. Isaiah 61:1-2…Proclaim a period of grace… John 5:24
283. Isaiah 62:1-2…Called by an new name…Luke 2:32, Revelation 3:12
284. Isaiah 62:11…Thy King Cometh, Entered Jerusalem on Colt…Matthew 21:7
285. Isaiah 63:1-3…A vesture dipped in blood…Revelation 19:13
286. Isaiah 63:8,9…Afflicted with the afflicted…Matthew 25:34-40
287. Isaiah 65:9…The elect shall inherit…Romans 11 5-7, Hebrews 7:14, Revelation 5:5
288. Isaiah 65:17-25…New heaven/New Earth…2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1
289. Isaiah 66:18-19…All nations come to God…New Testament
290. Jeremiah23:5-6a…Descendant of David…Luke 3:23-31
291. Jeremiah 23:5-6b…The Messiah would be God… John 13:13
292. Jeremiah 23:5-6c…The Messiah would be both God and Man… 1 Tim. 3:16
293. Jeremiah 30:9…Born a King…John 18:37, Revelation 1:5
294. Jeremiah 31:15…Massacre of infants…Matthew 2:16-18
295. Jeremiah 31:22…Born of a virgin… Matthew 1:18-20
296. Jeremiah 31:31…The Messiah would be the new covenant… Matthew 26:28
297. Jeremiah 33:14-15…Descendant of David… Luke 3:23-31
298. Ezekiel17:22-24…Descendant of David… Luke 3:23-31
299. Ezekiel 21:26,27…The humble exalted…Luke 1:52
300. Ezekiel34:23-24…Descendant of David… Matthew 1:1
301. Daniel 2:34-35…Stone cut without hands…Acts 4:10-12
302. Daniel 2:44,45…His Kingdom Triumphant…Luke 1:33, 1 Corinthians 15:24, Revelation 11:15
303. Dan. 7:13-14a…He would ascend into heaven… Acts 1:9-11
304. Dan. 7:13-14b…Highly exalted… Ephesians 1:20-22
305. Dan. 7:13-14c…His dominion would be everlasting… Luke 1:31-33
306. Daniel 7:27…Kingdom for the Saints…Luke 1:33, 1 Corinthians 15:24, Revelation 11:15
307. Dan. 9:24a…To make an end to sins… Galatians 1:3-5
308. Dan. 9:24b…He would be holy… Luke 1:35
309. Dan. 9:25…Announced to his people 483 years, to the exact day, after the decree to rebuild the city of Jerusalem… John 12:12-13
310. Dan. 9:26a…Killed… Matthew 27:35
311. Dan. 9:26b…Die for the sins of the world… Hebrews 2:9
312. Dan. 9:26c…Killed before the destruction of the temple… Matthew 27:50-51
313. Dan. 10:5-6…Messiah in a glorified state… Rev. 1:13-16
314. Hosea 3:5…Israel restored…John 18:37, Romans 11:25-27
315. Hosea 11:1, Numbers 24:8…Flight to Egypt…Matthew 2:14
316. Hosea 13:14…He would defeat death… 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
317. Joel 2:28-32…Promise of the Spirit…Acts 2:17-21, Romans 10:13
318. Joel 2:32…Offer salvation to all mankind… Romans. 10:12-13
319. Micah 2:12-13…Israel Regathered…John 10:14,26
320. Micah 4:1-8…The Kingdom established – place of Birth Bethlehem…Luke 1:33, Matthew 2:1, Luke 2:4,10,11
321. Micah 5:2a…Born in Bethlehem… Matthew 2:1-2
322. Micah 5:2b…God’s servant… John 15:10
323. Micah 5:2c…from everlasting… John 8:58
324. Haggai 2:6-9…He would visit the second Temple… Luke 2:27-32
325. Haggai 2:23…Descendant of Zerubbabel… Luke 3:23-27
326. Joel 2:28-32…Promise of the Spirit…Acts 2:17-21, Romans 10:13
327. Amos 8:9…The Sun Darkened…Matthew 24:29, Acts 2:20, Revelation 6:12
328. Amos 9:11-12…Restoration of tabernacle…Acts 14:16-18
329. Habakkuk 2:14…Earth filled with knowledge of the glory of the Lord…Romans 11:26, Revelation 21:23-26
330. Zechariah 2:10-13…The Lamb on the Throne…Revelation 5:13, 6:9, 21:24
331. Zechariah 3:8…God’s servant… John 17:4
332. Zechariah 6:12-13…Priest and King… Hebrews 8:1
333. Zechariah 9:9a…Greeted with rejoicing in Jerusalem… Matthew 21:8-10
334. Zechariah 9:9b…Beheld as King… John 12:12-13
335. Zechariah 9:9c…The Messiah would be just… John 5:30
336. Zechariah 9:9d…The Messiah would bring salvation… Luke 19:10
337. Zechariah 9:9e…The Messiah would be humble… Matthew 11:29
338. Zechariah 9:9f…Presented to Jerusalem riding on a donkey… Matthew 21:6-9
339. Zechariah 10:4…The cornerstone… Ephesians 2:20
340. Zechariah 11:4-6a…At His coming, Israel to have unfit leaders… Matthew 23:1-4
341. Zechariah 11:4-6b…Rejection causes God to remove His protection.. Luke 19:41-44
342. Zechariah 11:4-6c…Rejected in favor of another king… John 19:13-15
343. Zechariah 11:7…Ministry to „poor,” the believing remnant… Matthew 9:35-36
344. Zechariah 11:8a…Unbelief forces Messiah to reject them… Matthew 23:33
345. Zechariah 11:8b…Despised… Matthew 27:20
346. Zechariah 11:9…Stops ministering to the those who rejected Him… Matthew 13:10-11
347. Zechariah 11:10-11a…Rejection causes God to remove protection… Luke 19:41-44
348. Zechariah 11:10-11b…The Messiah would be God… John 14:7
349. Zechariah 11:12-13a…Betrayed for thirty pieces of silver… Matthew 26:14-15
350. Zechariah 11:12-13b…Rejected… Matthew 26:14-15
351. Zechariah 11:12-13c…Thirty pieces of silver thrown into the house of the Lord… Matthew 27:3-5
352. Zechariah 11:12-13d…The Messiah would be God… John 12:45
353. Zechariah 12:10a…The Messiah’s body would be pierced… John 19:34-37
354. Zechariah 12:10b…The Messiah would be both God and man… John 10:30
355. Zechariah 12:10c…The Messiah would be rejected… John 1:11
356. Zechariah 13:7a…God’s will He die for mankind… John 18:11
357. Zechariah 13:7b…A violent death… Matthew 27:35
358. Zechariah 13:7c…Both God and man.. John 14:9
359. Zechariah 13:7d…Israel scattered as a result of rejecting Him… Matthew 26:31-56
360. Malachi 3:1a…Messenger to prepare the way for Messiah… Matthew 11:10
361. Malachi 3:1b…Sudden appearance at the temple… Mark 11:15-16
362. Malachi 3:1c…Messenger of the new covenant… Luke 4:43
363. Malachi 3:3…Our Sins Are Purged…Luke 1:78, John 1:9; 12:46, 2 Peter 1:19, Revelation 2:28; 19:11-16; 22:16
364. Malachi 4:5…Forerunner in the spirit of Elijah… Matthew 3:1-2
365. Malachi 4:6…Forerunner would turn many to righteousness… Luke 1:16-17

And for leap year, you can have Psalm 21 as a Messianic Hymn and David’s praise.

From Jack Wellman’s book, „Blind Chance or Intelligent Design, Empirical Methodologies and the Bible„, (chapter five).

Photo credit www.reasons.org

John Charles Ryle for Christmas – What Think Ye of Christ?

J. C. Ryle
(1816-1900)

Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, the son of David.— Matthew 22:42

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First published by Drummond’s Tract Depot, Stirling, Scotland

Christmas is a season which almost all Christians observe in one way or another. Some keep it as a religious season. Some keep it as a holiday. But all over the world, wherever there are Christians, in one way or another Christmas is kept. (Photo on right touchyaneighbor.com Photo above richgift.blogspot.com)

Perhaps there is no country in which Christmas is so much observed as it is in England. Christmas holidays, Christmas parties, Christmas family-gatherings, Christmas services in churches, Christmas hymns and carols, Christmas holly and mistletoe,—who has not heard of these things? They are as familiar to English people as anything in their lives. They are among the first things we remember when we were children. Our grandfathers and grandmothers were used to them long before we were born. They have been going on in England for many hundred years. They seem likely to go on as long as the world stands.

But, reader, how many of those who keep Christmas ever consider why Christmas is kept? How many, in their Christmas plans and arrangements, give a thought to Him, without whom there would have been no Christmas at all? How many ever remember that the Lord Jesus Christ is the cause of Christmas ? How many ever reflect that the first intention of Christmas was to remind Christians of Christ’s birth and coming into the world? Reader, how is it with you? What do you think of at Christmas?

Bear with me a few minutes, while I try to press upon you the question which heads this tract. I do not want to make your Christmas merriment less. I do not wish to spoil your Christmas cheer. I only wish to put things in their right places. I want Christ Himself to be remembered at Christmas! Give me your attention while I unfold the question—”What think ye of Christ?”

I. Let us consider, firstly, why all men ought to think of Christ.

II. Let us examine, secondly, the common thoughts of many about Christ.

III. Let us count up, lastly, the thoughts of true Christians about Christ.

Reader, I dare say the demands upon your time this Christmas are many. Your holidays are short. You have friends to see. You have much to talk about. But still, in the midst of all your hurry and excitement, give a little time to your soul. There will be a Christmas some year, when your place will be empty. Before that time comes, suffer me as a friend to press home on your conscience the inquiry,—”What think ye of Christ?”

I. First, then, let us consider why all men ought to think of Christ.

This is a question which needs to be answered, at the very outset of this tract. I know the minds of some people when they are asked about such things as I am handling today. I know that many are ready to say, „Why should we think about Christ at all ? We want meat, and drink, and money, and clothes, and amusements. We have no time to think about these high subjects. We do not understand them. Let parsons, and old women, and Sunday-school children mind such things if they like. We have no time in a world like this to be thinking of Christ.”

Such is the talk of thousands in this country. They never go either to church or chapel. They never read their Bibles. The world is their god. They think themselves very wise and clever. They despise those whom they call „religious people.” But whether they like it or not, they will all have to die one day. They have all souls to be lost or saved in a world to come. They will all have to rise again from their graves, and to have a reckoning with God. And shall their scoffing and contempt stop our mouths, and make us ashamed? No, indeed! not for a moment! Listen to me and I will tell you why.

All men ought to think of Christ, because of the office Christ fills between God and man. He is the eternal Son of God, through whom alone the Father can be known, approached, and served. He is the appointed Mediator between God and man, through whom alone we can be reconciled with God, pardoned, justified, and saved. He is the Divine Person whom God the Father has sealed to be the giver of everything that man requires for his soul. To Him are committed the keys of death and hell. In His favour is life. In Him alone there is hope of salvation for mankind. Without Him no child of Adam can be saved. „Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” „He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (I Cor. iii. 11; 1 John v.12.) And ought not man to think of Christ? Shall God the Father honour Him, and shall not man? I tell every reader of this tract that there is no person, living or dead, of such immense importance to all men as Christ. There is no person that men ought to think about so much as Christ.

All men ought to think of Christ, because of what Christ has done for all men. He thought upon man, when man was lost, bankrupt, and helpless by the fall, and undertook to come into the world to save sinners. In the fullness of time He was born of the Virgin Mary, and lived for man thirty-three years in this evil world. At the end of that time He suffered for sin on the cross, as man’s substitute. He bore man’s sins in His own body, and shed His own lifeblood to pay man’s debt to God. He was made a curse for man, that man might be blessed. He died for man that man might live. He was counted a sinner for man that man might be counted righteous. And ought not man to think of Christ? I tell every reader of this tract that if Christ had not died for us, we might all of us, for anything we know, be lying at this moment in hell.

All men ought to think of Christ, because of what Christ will yet do to all men. He shall come again one day to this earth with power and glory, and raise the dead from their graves. All shall come forth at His bidding. Those who would not move when they heard the church-going bell, shall obey the voice of the Archangel and the trump of God. He shall set up His judgment-seat, and summon all mankind to stand before it. To Him every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord. Not one shall be able to escape that solemn assize. Not one but shall receive at the mouth of Christ an eternal sentence. Every one shall receive according to what he has done in the body, whether it be good or bad. And ought not men to think of Christ? I tell every reader of this tract, that whatever he may choose to think now, a day is soon coming when his eternal condition will hinge entirely on his relations to Christ.

But why should I say more on this subject? The time would fail me if I were to set down all the reasons why all men ought to think of Christ. Christ is the grand subject of the Bible. The Scriptures testify of Him.—Christ is the great object to whom all the Churches in Christendom profess to give honour. Even the worst and most corrupt branches of it will tell you that they are built on Christ.—Christ is the end and substance of all sacraments and ordinances.—Christ is the grand subject which every faithful minister exalts in the pulpit.—Christ is the object that every true pastor sets before dying people on their deathbeds.—Christ is the great source of light and peace and hope. There is not a spark of spiritual comfort that has ever illumined a sinner’s heart, that has not come from Christ. Surely it never can be a small matter whether we have any thoughts about Christ.

Reader, I leave this part of my subject here. There are many things which swallow up men’s thoughts while they live, which they will think little of when they are dying. Hundreds are wholly absorbed in political schemes, and seem to care for nothing but the advancement of their own party.—Myriads are buried in business and money matters, and seem to neglect everything else but this world.—Thousands are always wrangling about the forms and ceremonies of religion, and are ready to cry down everybody who does not use their shibboleths, and worship in their way. But an hour is fast coming when only one subject will be minded, and that subject will be Christ! We shall all find—and many perhaps too late—that it mattered little what we thought about other things, so long as we did not think about Christ.

Reader, I tell you this Christmas, that all men ought to think about Christ. There is no one in whom all the world has such a deep interest. There is no one to whom all the world owes so much. High and low, rich and poor, old and young, gentle and simple,—all ought to think about Christ.

II. Let us examine, secondly, the common thoughts of many about Christ.

To set down the whole list of thoughts about Christ, would indeed be thankless labour. It must content us to range them under a few general heads. This will save us both time and trouble. There were many strange thoughts about Christ when He was on earth. There are many strange and wrong thoughts about Christ now, when He is in heaven.

The thoughts of some people about Christ are simply blasphemous. They are not ashamed to deny His Divinity. They refuse to believe the miracles recorded of Him. They pretend to find fault with not a few of His sayings and doings. They even question the perfect honesty and sincerity of some things that He did. They tell us that He ought to be ranked with great Reformers and Philosophers, like Socrates, Seneca, and Confucius, but no higher.—Thoughts like these are purely ridiculous and absurd. They utterly fail to explain the enormous influence which Christ and Christianity have had for eighteen hundred years in this world. There is not the slightest comparison to be made between Christ and any other teacher of mankind that ever lived. The difference between Him and others is a gulf that cannot be spanned, and a height that cannot be measured. It is the difference between gold and clay,—between the sun and a candle. Nothing can account for Christ and Christianity, but the old belief that Christ is very God. Reader, are the thoughts I have just described your own? If they are, take care!

The thoughts of some people about Christ are vague, dim, misty, and indistinct. That there was such a Person they do not for a moment deny. That He was the Founder of Christianity, and the object of Christian worship, they are quite aware. That they hear of Him every time they go to public worship, and ought to have some opinion or belief about Him, they will fully admit. But they could not tell you what it is they believe. They could not accurately describe and define it. They have not thoroughly considered the subject They have not made up their minds! —Thoughts such as these are foolish, silly, and unreasonable. To be a dying sinner with an immortal soul, and to go on living without making up one’s mind about the only Person who can save us, the Person who will at last judge us, is the conduct of a lunatic or an idiot, and not of a rational man. Reader, are the thoughts I have just described your own? If any are, take care!

The thoughts of some men about Christ are mean and low. They have, no doubt, a distinct opinion about His position in their system of Christianity. They consider that if they do their best, and live moral lives, and go to church pretty regularly, and use the ordinances of religion, Christ will deal mercifully with them at last, and make up any deficiencies.—Thoughts such as these utterly fail to explain why Christ died on the cross. They take the crown off Christ’s head, and degrade Him into a kind of make-weight to man’s soul. They overthrow the whole system of the Gospel, and pull up all its leading doctrines by the roots. They exalt man to an absurdly high position; as if he could pay some part of the price of his soul!—They rob man of all the comfort of the Gospel; as if he must needs do something and perform some work to justify his own soul!—They make Christ a sort of Judge far more than a Saviour, and place the cross and the atonement in a degraded and inferior position! Reader, are the thoughts I have just described your own? If they are, take care !

The thoughts of some men about Christ are dishonouring and libellous. They seem to think that we need a mediator between ourselves and our Saviour! They appear to suppose that Christ is so high, and awful, and exalted a Person, that poor, sinful man may not approach Him! They say that we must employ an Episcopacy ordained minister as a kind of go-between, to stand between us and Jesus, and manage for our souls! They send us to saints, or angels, or the Virgin Mary, as if they were more kind and accessible than Christ!—Thoughts such as these are a practical denial of Christ’s priestly office. They overthrow the whole doctrine of His peculiar business, as man’s Intercessor. They hide and bury out of sight His especial love to sinners and His boundless willingness to receive them. Instead of a gracious Saviour, they make Him out an austere and hard King. Reader, are the thoughts I have just described your own? If they are, take care!

The thoughts of some men about Christ are wicked and unholy. They seem to think that they may live as they please, because Christ died for sinners! They will indulge every kind of wickedness, and yet flatter themselves that they are not blameworthy for it, because Christ is a merciful Saviour! They will talk complacently of God’s election, and the necessity of grace, and the impossibility of being justified by works and the fullness of Christ, and then make these glorious doctrines an excuse for lying, cheating, drunkenness, fornication, and every kind of immorality.—Thoughts such as these are as blasphemous and profane as downright infidelity. They actually make Christ the patron of sin. Reader, are these thoughts I have described your own? If they are, take care!

Reader, two general remarks apply to all these thoughts about Christ of which I have just been speaking. They all show a deplorable ignorance of Scripture. I defy any one to read the Bible honestly and find any warrant for them in that blessed Book. Men cannot know their Bibles when they hold such opinions.—They all help to prove the corruption and darkness of human nature. Man is ready to believe anything about Christ except the simple truth. He loves to set up an idol of his own, and bow down to it, rather than accept the Saviour whom God puts before him.

I leave this part of my subject here. It is a sorrowful and painful one, but not without its use. It is necessary to study morbid anatomy, if we would understand health. The ground must be cleared of rubbish before we build.

III. Let us now count up, lastly, the thoughts of true Christians about Christ.

The thoughts I am going to describe are not the thoughts of many. I admit this most fully. It would be vain to deny it. The number of right thinkers about Christ in every age has been small. The true Christians among professing Christians have always been few. If it were not so, the Bible would have told an untruth. „Strait is the gate,” says the Lord Jesus, „and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.—Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.” „Many walk,” says Paul, „of whom I tell you, even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ; whose end is destruction.” (Matt vii. 13, 14. Phil. iii. 18, 19.)

True Christians have high thoughts of Christ. They see in Him a wondrous Person, far above all other beings in His nature,—a Person who is at one and the same time perfect God, mighty to save, and perfect Man, able to feel.—They see in Him an All-powerful Redeemer, who has paid their countless debts to God, and delivered their souls from guilt and hell.—They see in Him an Almighty Friend, who left heaven for them, lived for them, died for them, rose again for them,—that He might save them for evermore.—They see in Him an Almighty Physician, who washed away their sins in His own blood, put His own Spirit in their hearts, delivered them from the power of sin, and gave them power to become God’s children.—Happy are they who have such thoughts! Reader, have you?

True Christians have trustful thoughts of Christ. They daily lean the weight of their souls upon Him by faith, for pardon and peace. They daily commit the care of their souls to Him, as a man commits a treasure to a safe keeper. They daily cling to Him by faith, as a child in a crowd clings to its mother’s hand. They look to Him daily for mercy, grace, comfort, help, and strength, as Israel looked to the pillar of cloud and fire in the wilderness for guidance. Christ is the Rock under their feet, and the staff in their hands, their ark and their city of refuge, their sun and their shield, their bread and their medicine, their health and their light, their fountain and their shelter, their portion and their home, their door and their ladder, their root and their head, their advocate and their physician, their captain and their elder brother, their life, their hope, and their all. Happy are they who have such thoughts! Reader, have you?

True Christians have experimental thoughts of Christ. The things that they think of Him, they do not merely think with their heads. They have not learned them from schools, or picked them up from others. They think them because they have found them true by their own heart’s experience. They have proved them, and tasted them, and tried them. They think out for themselves what they have felt . There is all the difference in the world between knowing that a man is a doctor or a lawyer, while we never have occasion to employ him, and knowing him as „our own,” because we have gone to him for medicine or law. Just in the same way there is a wide difference between head knowledge and experimental thoughts of Christ. Happy are they who have such thoughts? Reader, have you?

True Christians have loving and reverent thoughts of Christ. They love to do the things that please Him. They like, in their poor weak way, to show their affection to Him by keeping His words. They love everything belonging to Him,—His day, His house, His ordinances, His people, His Book. They never find His yoke heavy, or His burden painful to bear, or His Commandments grievous. Love lightens all. They know something of the mind of Mr. Standfast, in „Pilgrim’s Progress,” when he said, as he stood in the river,—”I have loved to hear my Lord spoken of; and whenever I have seen the print of His shoe in the earth, then I have coveted to set my foot over it.” Happy are they who have such thoughts? Reader, have you?

True Christians have hopeful thoughts of Christ. They expect to receive far more from Him one day than they have ever received yet. They hope that they shall be kept to the end, and never perish. But this is not all. They look forward to Christ’s second coming and expect that then they shall see far more than they have seen, and enjoy far more than they have yet enjoyed. They have the earnest of an inheritance now in the Spirit dwelling in their heart. But they hope for a far fuller possession when this world has passed away. They have hopeful thoughts of Christ’s second Advent, of their own resurrection from the grave of their reunion with all the saints who have gone before them, of eternal blessedness in Christ’s kingdom. Happy are they who have such thoughts! They sweeten life, and lift men over many cares. Reader, have you such thoughts ?

Reader, thoughts such as these are the property of all true Christians. Some of them know more of them and some of them know less. But all know something about them. They do not always feel them equally at all time! They do not always find such thoughts equally fresh and green in their minds. They have their winter as well as their summer, and their low tide as well as their high water. But all true Christians are, more or less, acquainted with these thoughts. In this matter churchmen and dissenters, rich and poor, all are agreed, if they are true Christians. In other things they may be unable to agree and see alike. But they all agree in their thoughts about Christ. One word they can all say, which is the same in every tongue. That word is „Hallelujah,” praise to the Lord Christ! One answer they can all make, which in every tongue is equally the same. That word is, „Amen,” so be it!

And now, reader, I shall wind up my Christmas tract, by simply bringing before your conscience the question which forms its title. I ask you this day, —”What think ye of Christ?”

What others think about Him is not the question now. Their mistakes are no excuse for you.—Their correct views will not save your soul. The point you have before you is simply this,—”What do you think yourself?”

Reader, this Christmas may possibly be your last. Who can tell but you may never live to see another December come round? Who can tell but your place may be empty, when the family party next Christmas is gathered together? Do not, I entreat you, put off my question or turn away from it. It can do you no harm to look at it and consider it. What do you think of Christ?

Begin, I beseech you, this day to have right thoughts of Christ, if you never had them before. Let the time past suffice you to have lived without real and heartfelt religion.—Let this present Christmas be a starting point in your soul’s history. Awake to see the value of your soul, and the immense importance of being saved. Break off sharp from sin and the world. Get down your Bible and begin to read it. Call upon the Lord Jesus Christ in prayer, and beseech Him to save your soul. Rest not, rest not till you have trustful, loving, experimental, hopeful thoughts of Christ.

Reader, mark my words! If you will only take the advice I have now given you, you will never repent it. Your life in future will be happier. Your heart will be lighter. Your Christmas gatherings will be more truly joyful. Nothing makes Christmas meetings so happy as to feel that we are all travelling on towards an eternal gathering in heaven.

Reader, I say for the last time, if you would have a happy Christmas, have right thoughts about Christ.

added to www.biblebb.com by Tony Capoccia

Laos: Former Soldier, Bounchan Kanthavong, Jailed for Christian Witness (Video)

Many Americans have more than one Bible in our homes. But in countries like Laos, believers risk their lives to get a copy of God’s word.

Bounchan Kanthavong, a Khmu Christian, was imprisoned for his Christian witness in the communist nation.

Prior to finding Christ, he served as a soldier and later as assistant district governor.

His job took him to Christian villages, where he became intrigued by the villagers worship. Eventually he became a believer and couldn’t stop sharing his new-found faith.

„I went back to my home church and talked about God,” Kanthavong told Voice of the Martyrs during an interview. „Many people would come; they wanted to become Christians. Soon, the whole village would come.”

The government, however, was not so receptive to Kanthavong’s conversion and imprisoned him for 15 years.

But instead of food or freedom, what Kanthavong wanted more than anything was to read the scriptures.

This eye-opening documentary features the inspiring testimony of Bounchan who was imprisoned and tortured for his Christian witness in the Southeast Asian nation of Laos. Instead of food, what he wanted more than anything was a Bible. Prior to finding Christ, Bounchan served his communist country as a soldier and later as Assistant District Governor. The following powerful re-enactment demonstrates his overcoming faith and perseverance in the midst of persecution, while highlighting the importance of writing letters to those imprisoned for the sake of Christ!

Length 5:30 minutes. From The Voice of the Martyrs USA VOM C.

Richard Dawkins – Debating The Morality of the Old Testament

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Richard Dawkins has described the God of the Old Testament as (among other things) a „capriciously malevolent bully”. The world’s best known atheist joins Justin Brierley to discuss the morality of the Old Testament in light of the Bible TV series airing in the UK on Channel 5. Rabbi Josh Levy and Christian lecturer Chris Sinkinson discuss with Dawkins whether the events of the Old Testament are historical and how to interpret the so-called „terror” passages. What about the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, or of Abraham nearly sacrificing Isaac?

For an MP3 of this show: click here. –  VIDEO by officialpremiertv· See more at: http://www.premier.org.uk

As persecution increases, so does the distribution of Scripture

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If you live in the West you might think the Church is in decline, but more printed Bibles were distributed by United Bible Societies last year than ever before. 32.1 million Bibles were distributed across the world in 2011 – an increase of 11.2% over 2010.

Total Scripture distribution, 2009-2011

It is the first time that the number of Bibles distributed by Bible Societies has exceeded 30 million in a single year. And these figures do not include Bibles in other formats, such as audio or digital, which are rapidly growing in importance and will soon become the main channels for Bible distribution.

The biggest growth was seen in Africa and the Americas, where 3.6 million more Bibles were distributed last year than in 2010. Bible distribution in Europe and the Middle East rose by a modest 2.7%, but fell by 4.2% in Asia Pacific.

The majority of the Bibles we distributed were in the world’s major international languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swahili.

biblia 6Report from Christian Today. Photo credit www.unitedbiblesocieties.org

The United Bible Society has reported a sharp increase in the number of Christian Scriptures distributed in some of the countries where believers suffer the highest levels of persecution. Statistics suggest that Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world and Baroness Warsi made headlines recently when she warned that Christianity could be wiped out in the Middle East.

However, recent figures released from Bible Societies around the world indicate that more Christian Scriptures were distributed than ever before in 2012. Global Scripture distribution rose from just over 381 million in 2011 to more than 405 million in 2012; an increase of 6%. Of the 405 million distributed, 32.1 million were whole Bibles, which matched 2011’s record-breaking year of Bible distribution.

Surprisingly, the highest increase was in Syria, which is facing huge humanitarian crises as a result of ongoing conflict across the country. Despite this, over eight times more Scriptures were distributed by the Bible Society, through a network of church volunteers, in 2012 than 2011; 163,000 in total last year. „Christians in Syria are under enormous pressure and are in great need of encouragement,” said Mike Bassous, General Secretary of the Lebanon Bible Society, which oversees Bible Society work in Syria. „Staff in Syria are working hard to produce enough Scriptures to meet these needs.”

There has been a similar substantial increase in the distribution of Scripture in Iraq, which borders Syria to the east. Although only 330,000 Christians remain in Iraq, following a mass exodus of believers as a result of increasing persecution, more than 66,000 items of Scripture were distributed in 2012, a 57% increase on the previous year.

Similar reports are coming from countries such as Egypt, India, Laos and Nigeria, which, along with Syria and Iraq, and among those suffering some of the highest levels of persecution according to Open Doors.

United Bible Societies Director General Michael Perreau says that he is greatly encouraged by the continued growth in demand for Scriptures, particularly in countries where Christians are under increasing pressure. „With rising persecution of Christians in certain parts of the world, and increasing secularisation in others, it is encouraging and heartwarming to see that God’s Word is more sought after and cherished than ever before,” he observes. He noted that there has also been „a huge boost” in digital access to Scripture, which is particularly helpful in countries where it is dangerous to read printed Christian literature.

Mr Perreau asked that Christians around the world would pray for the protection and blessing of those who undertake the dangerous task of distributing Scriptures in persecuted countries, and for everyone who encounters God’s Holy Word.

Timeline of Bible Translation History

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This timeline is from www.greatsite.com 

check it out and bookmark it, it has a lot of detailed information on the history of the Bible as well as facsimiles and photos of rare pages and Bibles from antiquity. Page Source – http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/#timeline. (This English Bible History Article & Timeline is ©2013 by author & editor: John L. Jeffcoat III. Special thanks is also given to Dr. Craig H. Lampe for his valuable contributions to the text.)

Timeline of Bible Translation History

1,400 BC: The first written Word of God: The Ten Commandments delivered to Moses.

500 BC: Completion of All Original Hebrew Manuscripts which make up The 39 Books of the Old Testament.

200 BC: Completion of the Septuagint Greek Manuscripts which contain The 39 Old Testament Books AND 14 Apocrypha Books.

1st Century AD: Completion of All Original Greek Manuscripts which make up The 27 Books of the New Testament.

315 AD: Athenasius, the Bishop of Alexandria, identifies the 27 books of the New Testament which are today recognized as the canon of scripture.

382 AD: Jerome’s Latin Vulgate Manuscripts Produced which contain All 80 Books (39 Old Test. + 14 Apocrypha + 27 New Test).

500 AD: Scriptures have been Translated into Over 500 Languages.

600 AD: LATIN was the Only Language Allowed for Scripture.

995 AD: Anglo-Saxon (Early Roots of English Language) Translations of The New Testament Produced.

1384 AD: Wycliffe is the First Person to Produce a (Hand-Written) manuscript Copy of the Complete Bible; All 80 Books.

1455 AD: Gutenberg Invents the Printing Press; Books May Now be mass-Produced Instead of Individually Hand-Written. The First Book Ever Printed is Gutenberg’s Bible in Latin.

1516 AD: Erasmus Produces a Greek/Latin Parallel New Testament.

1522 AD: Martin Luther’s German New Testament.

1526 AD: William Tyndale’s New Testament; The First New Testament printed in the English Language.

1535 AD: Myles Coverdale’s Bible; The First Complete Bible printed in the English Language (80 Books: O.T. & N.T. & Apocrypha).

1537 AD: Tyndale-Matthews Bible; The Second Complete Bible printed in English. Done by John „Thomas Matthew” Rogers (80 Books).

1539 AD: The „Great Bible” Printed; The First English Language Bible Authorized for Public Use (80 Books).

1560 AD: The Geneva Bible Printed; The First English Language Bible to add Numbered Verses to Each Chapter (80 Books).

1568 AD: The Bishops Bible Printed; The Bible of which the King James was a Revision (80 Books).

1609 AD: The Douay Old Testament is added to the Rheims New Testament (of 1582) Making the First Complete English Catholic Bible; Translated from the Latin Vulgate (80 Books).

1611 AD: The King James Bible Printed; Originally with All 80 Books. The Apocrypha was Officially Removed in 1885 Leaving Only 66 Books.

1782 AD: Robert Aitken’s Bible; The First English Language Bible (KJV) Printed in America.

1791 AD: Isaac Collins and Isaiah Thomas Respectively Produce the First Family Bible and First Illustrated Bible Printed in America. Both were King James Versions, with All 80 Books.

1808 AD: Jane Aitken’s Bible (Daughter of Robert Aitken); The First Bible to be Printed by a Woman.

1833 AD: Noah Webster’s Bible; After Producing his Famous Dictionary, Webster Printed his Own Revision of the King James Bible.

1841 AD: English Hexapla New Testament; an Early Textual Comparison showing the Greek and 6 Famous English Translations in Parallel Columns.

1846 AD: The Illuminated Bible; The Most Lavishly Illustrated Bible printed in America. A King James Version, with All 80 Books.

1885 AD: The „English Revised Version” Bible; The First Major English Revision of the KJV.

1901 AD: The „American Standard Version”; The First Major American Revision of the KJV.

1971 AD: The „New American Standard Bible” (NASB) is Published as a „Modern and Accurate Word for Word English Translation” of the Bible.

1973 AD: The „New International Version” (NIV) is Published as a „Modern and Accurate Phrase for Phrase English Translation” of the Bible.

1982 AD: The „New King James Version” (NKJV) is Published as a „Modern English Version Maintaining the Original Style of the King James.”

2002 AD: The English Standard Version (ESV) is Published as a translation to bridge the gap between the accuracy of the NASB and the readability of the NIV.

This English Bible History Article & Timeline is ©2002 by author & editor: John L. Jeffcoat III. Special thanks is also given to Dr. Craig H. Lampe for his valuable contributions to the text. This page may be freely reproduced or quoted, in whole or in part, in print or electronically, under the one condition that prominent credit must be given to “WWW.GREATSITE.COM” as the source.

English Bible History

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The fascinating story of how we got the Bible in its present form actually starts thousands of years ago, as briefly outlined in our Timeline of Bible Translation History. As a background study, we recommend that you first review our discussion of the Pre-Reformation History of the Bible from 1,400 B.C. to 1,400 A.D., which covers the transmission of the scripture through the original languages of Hebrew and Greek, and the 1,000 years of the Dark & Middle Ages when the Word was trapped in only Latin. Our starting point in this discussion of Bible history, however, is the advent of the scripture in the English language with the “Morning Star of the Reformation”, John Wycliffe.

John WycliffeJohn Wycliffe – The first hand-written English language Bible manuscripts were produced in the 1380’s AD by John Wycliffe, an Oxford professor, scholar, and theologian. Wycliffe, (also spelled “Wycliff” & “Wyclif”), was well-known throughout Europe for his opposition to the teaching of the organized Church, which he believed to be contrary to the Bible. With the help of his followers, called the Lollards, and his assistant Purvey, and many other faithful scribes, Wycliffe produced dozens of English language manuscript copies of the scriptures. They were translated out of the Latin Vulgate, which was the only source text available to Wycliffe. The Pope was so infuriated by his teachings and his translation of the Bible into English, that 44 years after Wycliffe had died, he ordered the bones to be dug-up, crushed, and scattered in the river!

John Hus

John Huss – One of Wycliffe’s followers, John Hus, actively promoted Wycliffe’s ideas: that people should be permitted to read the Bible in their own language, and they should oppose the tyranny of the Roman church that threatened anyone possessing a non-Latin Bible with execution. Hus was burned at the stake in 1415, with Wycliffe’s manuscript Bibles used as kindling for the fire. The last words of John Hus were that, “in 100 years, God will raise up a man whose calls for reform cannot be suppressed.” Almost exactly 100 years later, in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses of Contention (a list of 95 issues of heretical theology and crimes of the Roman Catholic Church) into the church door at Wittenberg. The prophecy of Hus had come true! Martin Luther went on to be the first person to translate and publish the Bible in the commonly-spoken dialect of the German people; a translation more appealing than previous German Biblical translations. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs records that in that same year, 1517, seven people were burned at the stake by the Roman Catholic Church for the crime of teaching their children to say the Lord’s Prayer in English rather than Latin.

Johann  GutenbergJohann Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 1450’s, and the first book to ever be printed was a Latin language Bible, printed in Mainz, Germany. Gutenberg’s Bibles were surprisingly beautiful, as each leaf Gutenberg printed was later colorfully hand-illuminated. Born as “Johann Gensfleisch” (John Gooseflesh), he preferred to be known as “Johann Gutenberg” (John Beautiful Mountain). Ironically, though he had created what many believe to be the most important invention in history, Gutenberg was a victim of unscrupulous business associates who took control of his business and left him in poverty. Nevertheless, the invention of the movable-type printing press meant that Bibles and books could finally be effectively produced in large quantities in a short period of time. This was essential to the success of the Reformation.
Thomas LinacreThomas Linacre – In the 1490’s another Oxford professor, and the personal physician to King Henry the 7th and 8th, Thomas Linacre, decided to learn Greek. After reading the Gospels in Greek, and comparing it to the Latin Vulgate, he wrote in his diary, “Either this (the original Greek) is not the Gospel… or we are not Christians.” The Latin had become so corrupt that it no longer even preserved the message of the Gospel… yet the Church still threatened to kill anyone who read the scripture in any language other than Latin… though Latin was not an original language of the scriptures.
John ColetIn 1496, John Colet, another Oxford professor and the son of the Mayor of London, started reading the New Testament in Greek and translating it into English for his students at Oxford, and later for the public at Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London. The people were so hungry to hear the Word of God in a language they could understand, that within six months there were 20,000 people packed in the church and at least that many outside trying to get in! (Sadly, while the enormous and beautiful Saint Paul’s Cathedral remains the main church in London today, as of 2003, typical Sunday morning worship attendance is only around 200 people… and most of them are tourists). Fortunately for Colet, he was a powerful man with friends in high places, so he amazingly managed to avoid execution.
ErasmusErasmus – In considering the experiences of Linacre and Colet, the great scholar Erasmus was so moved to correct the corrupt Latin Vulgate, that in 1516, with the help of printer John Froben, he published a Greek-Latin Parallel New Testament. The Latin part was not the corrupt Vulgate, but his own fresh rendering of the text from the more accurate and reliable Greek, which he had managed to collate from a half-dozen partial old Greek New Testament manuscripts he had acquired. This milestone was the first non-Latin Vulgate text of the scripture to be produced in a millennium… and the first ever to come off a printing press. The 1516 Greek-Latin New Testament of Erasmus further focused attention on just how corrupt and inaccurate the Latin Vulgate had become, and how important it was to go back and use the original Greek (New Testament) and original Hebrew (Old Testament) languages to maintain accuracy… and to translate them faithfully into the languages of the common people, whether that be English, German, or any other tongue. No sympathy for this “illegal activity” was to be found from Rome… even as the words of Pope Leo X’s declaration that „the fable of Christ was quite profitable to him” continued through the years to infuriate the people of God.
William TyndaleWilliam Tyndale was the Captain of the Army of Reformers, and was their spiritual leader. Tyndale holds the distinction of being the first man to ever print the New Testament in the English language. Tyndale was a true scholar and a genius, so fluent in eight languages that it was said one would think any one of them to be his native tongue. He is frequently referred to as the “Architect of the English Language”, (even more so than William Shakespeare) as so many of the phrases Tyndale coined are still in our language today.
Martin LutherMartin Luther had a small head-start on Tyndale, as Luther declared his intolerance for the Roman Church’s corruption on Halloween in 1517, by nailing his 95 Theses of Contention to the Wittenberg Church door. Luther, who would be exiled in the months following the Diet of Worms Council in 1521 that was designed to martyr him, would translate the New Testament into German for the first time from the 1516 Greek-Latin New Testament of Erasmus, and publish it in September of 1522. Luther also published a German Pentateuch in 1523, and another edition of the German New Testament in 1529. In the 1530’s he would go on to publish the entire Bible in German.

William Tyndale wanted to use the same 1516 Erasmus text as a source to translate and print the New Testament in English for the first time in history. Tyndale showed up on Luther’s doorstep in Germany in 1525, and by year’s end had translated the New Testament into English. Tyndale had been forced to flee England, because of the wide-spread rumor that his English New Testament project was underway, causing inquisitors and bounty hunters to be constantly on Tyndale’s trail to arrest him and prevent his project. God foiled their plans, and in 1525-1526 the Tyndale New Testament became the first printed edition of the scripture in the English language. Subsequent printings of the Tyndale New Testament in the 1530’s were often elaborately illustrated.

They were burned as soon as the Bishop could confiscate them, but copies trickled through and actually ended up in the bedroom of King Henry VIII. The more the King and Bishop resisted its distribution, the more fascinated the public at large became. The church declared it contained thousands of errors as they torched hundreds of New Testaments confiscated by the clergy, while in fact, they burned them because they could find no errors at all. One risked death by burning if caught in mere possession of Tyndale’s forbidden books.

Having God’s Word available to the public in the language of the common man, English, would have meant disaster to the church. No longer would they control access to the scriptures. If people were able to read the Bible in their own tongue, the church’s income and power would crumble. They could not possibly continue to get away with selling indulgences (the forgiveness of sins) or selling the release of loved ones from a church-manufactured „Purgatory”. People would begin to challenge the church’s authority if the church were exposed as frauds and thieves. The contradictions between what God’s Word said, and what the priests taught, would open the public’s eyes and the truth would set them free from the grip of fear that the institutional church held. Salvation through faith, not works or donations, would be understood. The need for priests would vanish through the priesthood of all believers. The veneration of church-canonized Saints and Mary would be called into question. The availability of the scriptures in English was the biggest threat imaginable to the wicked church. Neither side would give up without a fight.

Today, there are only two known copies left of Tyndale’s 1525-26 First Edition. Any copies printed prior to 1570 are extremely valuable. Tyndale’s flight was an inspiration to freedom-loving Englishmen who drew courage from the 11 years that he was hunted. Books and Bibles flowed into England in bales of cotton and sacks of flour. Ironically, Tyndale’s biggest customer was the King’s men, who would buy up every copy available to burn them… and Tyndale used their money to print even more! In the end, Tyndale was caught: betrayed by an Englishman that he had befriended. Tyndale was incarcerated for 500 days before he was strangled and burned at the stake in 1536. Tyndale’s last words were, „Oh Lord, open the King of England’s eyes”. This prayer would be answered just three years later in 1539, when King Henry VIII finally allowed, and even funded, the printing of an English Bible known as the “Great Bible”. But before that could happen…

Myles CoverdaleMyles Coverdale and John “Thomas Matthew” Rogers had remained loyal disciples the last six years of Tyndale’s life, and they carried the English Bible project forward and even accelerated it. Coverdale finished translating the Old Testament, and in 1535 he printed the first complete Bible in the English language, making use of Luther’s German text and the Latin as sources. Thus, the first complete English Bible was printed on October 4, 1535, and is known as the Coverdale Bible.
John RogersJohn Rogers went on to print the second complete English Bible in 1537. It was, however, the first English Bible translated from the original Biblical languages of Hebrew & Greek. He printed it under the pseudonym „Thomas Matthew”, (an assumed name that had actually been used by Tyndale at one time) as a considerable part of this Bible was the translation of Tyndale, whose writings had been condemned by the English authorities. It is a composite made up of Tyndale’s Pentateuch and New Testament (1534-1535 edition) and Coverdale’s Bible and some of Roger’s own translation of the text. It remains known most commonly as the Matthew-Tyndale Bible. It went through a nearly identical second-edition printing in 1549.
Thomas CranmerIn 1539, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, hired Myles Coverdale at the bequest of King Henry VIII to publish the „Great Bible”. It became the first English Bible authorized for public use, as it was distributed to every church, chained to the pulpit, and a reader was even provided so that the illiterate could hear the Word of God in plain English. It would seem that William Tyndale’s last wish had been granted…just three years after his martyrdom. Cranmer’s Bible, published by Coverdale, was known as the Great Bible due to its great size: a large pulpit folio measuring over 14 inches tall. Seven editions of this version were printed between April of 1539 and December of 1541.
King Henry VIIIIt was not that King Henry VIII had a change of conscience regarding publishing the Bible in English. His motives were more sinister… but the Lord sometimes uses the evil intentions of men to bring about His glory. King Henry VIII had in fact, requested that the Pope permit him to divorce his wife and marry his mistress. The Pope refused. King Henry responded by marrying his mistress anyway, (later having two of his many wives executed), and thumbing his nose at the Pope by renouncing Roman Catholicism, taking England out from under Rome’s religious control, and declaring himself as the reigning head of State to also be the new head of the Church. This new branch of the Christian Church, neither Roman Catholic nor truly Protestant, became known as the Anglican Church or the Church of England. King Henry acted essentially as its “Pope”. His first act was to further defy the wishes of Rome by funding the printing of the scriptures in English… the first legal English Bible… just for spite.
Queen MaryThe ebb and flow of freedom continued through the 1540’s…and into the 1550’s. After King Henry VIII, King Edward VI took the throne, and after his death, the reign of Queen “Bloody” Mary was the next obstacle to the printing of the Bible in English. She was possessed in her quest to return England to the Roman Church. In 1555, John „Thomas Matthew” Rogers and Thomas Cranmer were both burned at the stake. Mary went on to burn reformers at the stake by the hundreds for the „crime” of being a Protestant. This era was known as the Marian Exile, and the refugees fled from England with little hope of ever seeing their home or friends again.
John FoxeIn the 1550’s, the Church at Geneva, Switzerland, was very sympathetic to the reformer refugees and was one of only a few safe havens for a desperate people. Many of them met in Geneva, led by Myles Coverdale and John Foxe (publisher of the famous Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, which is to this day the only exhaustive reference work on the persecution and martyrdom of Early Christians and Protestants from the first century up to the mid-16th century), as well as Thomas Sampson and William Whittingham. There, with the protection of the great theologian John Calvin (author of the most famous theological book ever published, Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion)and John Knox, the great Reformer of the Scottish Church, the Church of Geneva determined to produce a Bible that would educate their families while they continued in exile.
John CalvinThe New Testament was completed in 1557, and the complete Bible was first published in 1560. It became known as the Geneva Bible. Due to a passage in Genesis describing the clothing that God fashioned for Adam and Eve upon expulsion from the Garden of Eden as „Breeches” (an antiquated form of „Britches”), some people referred to the Geneva Bible as the Breeches Bible.
John KnoxThe Geneva Bible was the first Bible to add numbered verses to the chapters, so that referencing specific passages would be easier. Every chapter was also accompanied by extensive marginal notes and references so thorough and complete that the Geneva Bible is also considered the first English „Study Bible”. William Shakespeare quotes hundreds of times in his plays from the Geneva translation of the Bible. The Geneva Bible became the Bible of choice for over 100 years of English speaking Christians. Between 1560 and 1644 at least 144 editions of this Bible were published. Examination of the 1611 King James Bible shows clearly that its translators were influenced much more by the Geneva Bible, than by any other source. The Geneva Bible itself retains over 90% of William Tyndale’s original English translation. The Geneva in fact, remained more popular than the King James Version until decades after its original release in 1611! The Geneva holds the honor of being the first Bible taken to America, and the Bible of the Puritans and Pilgrims. It is truly the “Bible of the Protestant Reformation.” Strangely, the famous Geneva Bible has been out-of-print since 1644, so the only way to obtain one is to either purchase an original printing of the Geneva Bible, or a less costly facsimile reproduction of the original 1560 Geneva Bible.

With the end of Queen Mary’s bloody reign, the reformers could safely return to England. The Anglican Church, now under Queen Elizabeth I, reluctantly tolerated the printing and distribution of Geneva version Bibles in England. The marginal notes, which were vehemently against the institutional Church of the day, did not rest well with the rulers of the day. Another version, one with a less inflammatory tone was desired, and the copies of the Great Bible were getting to be decades old. In 1568, a revision of the Great Bible known as the Bishop’s Bible was introduced. Despite 19 editions being printed between 1568 and 1606, this Bible, referred to as the “rough draft of the King James Version”, never gained much of a foothold of popularity among the people. The Geneva may have simply been too much to compete with.

By the 1580’s, the Roman Catholic Church saw that it had lost the battle to suppress the will of God: that His Holy Word be available in the English language. In 1582, the Church of Rome surrendered their fight for „Latin only” and decided that if the Bible was to be available in English, they would at least have an official Roman Catholic English translation. And so, using the corrupt and inaccurate Latin Vulgate as the only source text, they went on to publish an English Bible with all the distortions and corruptions that Erasmus had revealed and warned of 75 years earlier. Because it was translated at the Roman Catholic College in the city of Rheims, it was known as the Rheims New Testament (also spelled Rhemes). The Douay Old Testament was translated by the Church of Rome in 1609 at the College in the city of Douay (also spelled Doway & Douai). The combined product is commonly referred to as the „Doway/Rheims” Version. In 1589, Dr. William Fulke of Cambridge published the „Fulke’s Refutation”, in which he printed in parallel columns the Bishops Version along side the Rheims Version, attempting to show the error and distortion of the Roman Church’s corrupt compromise of an English version of the Bible.

King James IWith the death of Queen Elizabeth I, Prince James VI of Scotland became King James I of England. The Protestant clergy approached the new King in 1604 and announced their desire for a new translation to replace the Bishop’s Bible first printed in 1568. They knew that the Geneva Version had won the hearts of the people because of its excellent scholarship, accuracy, and exhaustive commentary. However, they did not want the controversial marginal notes (proclaiming the Pope an Anti-Christ, etc.) Essentially, the leaders of the church desired a Bible for the people, with scriptural references only for word clarification or cross-references.

This „translation to end all translations” (for a while at least) was the result of the combined effort of about fifty scholars. They took into consideration: The Tyndale New Testament, The Coverdale Bible, The Matthews Bible, The Great Bible, The Geneva Bible, and even the Rheims New Testament. The great revision of the Bishop’s Bible had begun. From 1605 to 1606 the scholars engaged in private research. From 1607 to 1609 the work was assembled. In 1610 the work went to press, and in 1611 the first of the huge (16 inch tall) pulpit folios known today as „The 1611 King James Bible” came off the printing press. A typographical discrepancy in Ruth 3:15 rendered a pronoun „He” instead of „She” in that verse in some printings. This caused some of the 1611 First Editions to be known by collectors as „He” Bibles, and others as „She” Bibles. Starting just one year after the huge 1611 pulpit-size King James Bibles were printed and chained to every church pulpit in England; printing then began on the earliest normal-size printings of the King James Bible. These were produced so individuals could have their own personal copy of the Bible.

John BunyanThe Anglican Church’s King James Bible took decades to overcome the more popular Protestant Church’s Geneva Bible. One of the greatest ironies of history, is that many Protestant Christian churches today embrace the King James Bible exclusively as the “only” legitimate English language translation… yet it is not even a Protestant translation! It was printed to compete with the Protestant Geneva Bible, by authorities who throughout most of history were hostile to Protestants… and killed them. While many Protestants are quick to assign the full blame of persecution to the Roman Catholic Church, it should be noted that even after England broke from Roman Catholicism in the 1500’s, the Church of England (The Anglican Church) continued to persecute Protestants throughout the 1600’s. One famous example of this is John Bunyan, who while in prison for the crime of preaching the Gospel, wrote one of Christian history’s greatest books, Pilgrim’s Progress. Throughout the 1600’s, as the Puritans and the Pilgrims fled the religious persecution of England to cross the Atlantic and start a new free nation in America, they took with them their precious Geneva Bible, and rejected the King’s Bible. America was founded upon the Geneva Bible, not the King James Bible.

Protestants today are largely unaware of their own history, and unaware of the Geneva Bible (which is textually 95% the same as the King James Version, but 50 years older than the King James Version, and not influenced by the Roman Catholic Rheims New Testament that the King James translators admittedly took into consideration). Nevertheless, the King James Bible turned out to be an excellent and accurate translation, and it became the most printed book in the history of the world, and the only book with one billion copies in print. In fact, for over 250 years…until the appearance of the English Revised Version of 1881-1885…the King James Version reigned without much of a rival. One little-known fact, is that for the past 200 years, all King James Bibles published in America are actually the 1769 Baskerville spelling and wording revision of the 1611. The original “1611” preface is deceivingly included by the publishers, and no mention of the fact that it is really the 1769 version is to be found, because that might hurt sales. The only way to obtain a true, unaltered, 1611 version is to either purchase an original pre-1769 printing of the King James Bible, or a less costly facsimile reproduction of the original 1611 King James Bible.

John EliotAlthough the first Bible printed in America was done in the native Algonquin Indian Language by John Eliot in 1663; the first English language Bible to be printed in America by Robert Aitken in 1782 was a King James Version. Robert Aitken’s 1782 Bible was also the only Bible ever authorized by the United States Congress. He was commended by President George Washington for providing Americans with Bibles during the embargo of imported English goods due to the Revolutionary War. In 1808, Robert’s daughter, Jane Aitken, would become the first woman to ever print a Bible… and to do so in America, of course. In 1791, Isaac Collins vastly improved upon the quality and size of the typesetting of American Bibles and produced the first „Family Bible” printed in America… also a King James Version. Also in 1791, Isaiah Thomas published the first Illustrated Bible printed in America…in the King James Version. For more information on the earliest Bibles printed in America from the 1600’s through the early 1800’s, you may wish to review our more detailed discussion of The Bibles of Colonial America.
Noah WebsterWhile Noah Webster, just a few years after producing his famous Dictionary of the English Language, would produce his own modern translation of the English Bible in 1833; the public remained too loyal to the King James Version for Webster’s version to have much impact. It was not really until the 1880’s that England’s own planned replacement for their King James Bible, the English Revised Version(E.R.V.) would become the first English language Bible to gain popular acceptance as a post-King James Version modern-English Bible. The widespread popularity of this modern-English translation brought with it another curious characteristic: the absence of the 14 Apocryphal books.

Up until the 1880’s every Protestant Bible (not just Catholic Bibles) had 80 books, not 66! The inter-testamental books written hundreds of years before Christ called “The Apocrypha” were part of virtually every printing of the Tyndale-Matthews Bible, the Great Bible, the Bishops Bible, the Protestant Geneva Bible, and the King James Bible until their removal in the 1880’s! The original 1611 King James contained the Apocrypha, and King James threatened anyone who dared to print the Bible without the Apocrypha with heavy fines and a year in jail. Only for the last 120 years has the Protestant Church rejected these books, and removed them from their Bibles. This has left most modern-day Christians believing the popular myth that there is something “Roman Catholic” about the Apocrypha. There is, however, no truth in that myth, and no widely-accepted reason for the removal of the Apocrypha in the 1880’s has ever been officially issued by a mainline Protestant denomination.

The Americans responded to England’s E.R.V. Bible by publishing the nearly-identical American Standard Version (A.S.V.) in 1901. It was also widely-accepted and embraced by churches throughout America for many decades as the leading modern-English version of the Bible. In the 1971, it was again revised and called New American Standard Version Bible (often referred to as the N.A.S.V. or N.A.S.B. or N.A.S.). This New American Standard Bible is considered by nearly all evangelical Christian scholars and translators today, to be the most accurate, word-for-word translation of the original Greek and Hebrew scriptures into the modern English language that has ever been produced. It remains the most popular version among theologians, professors, scholars, and seminary students today. Some, however, have taken issue with it because it is so direct and literal a translation (focused on accuracy), that it does not flow as easily in conversational English.

For this reason, in 1973, the New International Version (N.I.V.) was produced, which was offered as a “dynamic equivalent” translation into modern English. The N.I.V. was designed not for “word-for-word” accuracy, but rather, for “phrase-for-phrase” accuracy, and ease of reading even at a Junior High-School reading level. It was meant to appeal to a broader (and in some instances less-educated) cross-section of the general public. Critics of the N.I.V. often jokingly refer to it as the “Nearly Inspired Version”, but that has not stopped it from becoming the best-selling modern-English translation of the Bible ever published.

In 1982, Thomas Nelson Publishers produced what they called the “New King James Version”. Their original intent was to keep the basic wording of the King James to appeal to King James Version loyalists, while only changing the most obscure words and the Elizabethan “thee, thy, thou” pronouns. This was an interesting marketing ploy, however, upon discovering that this was not enough of a change for them to be able to legally copyright the result, they had to make more significant revisions, which defeated their purpose in the first place. It was never taken seriously by scholars, but it has enjoyed some degree of public acceptance, simply because of its clever “New King James Version” marketing name.

In 2002, a major attempt was made to bridge the gap between the simple readability of the N.I.V., and the extremely precise accuracy of the N.A.S.B. This translation is called the English Standard Version (E.S.V.) and is rapidly gaining popularity for its readability and accuracy. The 21st Century will certainly continue to bring new translations of God’s Word in the modern English language.

As Christians, we must be very careful to make intelligent and informed decisions about what translations of the Bible we choose to read. On the liberal extreme, we have people who would give us heretical new translations that attempt to change God’s Word to make it politically correct. One example of this, which has made headlines recently is the Today’s New International Version (T.N.I.V.) which seeks to remove all gender-specific references in the Bible whenever possible! Not all new translations are good… and some are very bad.

But equally dangerous, is the other extreme… of blindly rejecting ANY English translation that was produced in the four centuries that have come after the 1611 King James. We must remember that the main purpose of the Protestant Reformation was to get the Bible out of the chains of being trapped in an ancient language that few could understand, and into the modern, spoken, conversational language of the present day. William Tyndale fought and died for the right to print the Bible in the common, spoken, modern English tongue of his day… as he boldly told one official who criticized his efforts, “If God spare my life, I will see to it that the boy who drives the plowshare knows more of the scripture than you, Sir!

Will we now go backwards, and seek to imprison God’s Word once again exclusively in ancient translations? Clearly it is not God’s will that we over-react to SOME of the bad modern translations, by rejecting ALL new translations and “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”. The Word of God is unchanging from generation to generation, but language is a dynamic and ever-changing form of communication. We therefore have a responsibility before God as Christians to make sure that each generation has a modern translation that they can easily understand, yet that does not sacrifice accuracy in any way. Let’s be ever mindful that we are not called to worship the Bible. That is called idolatry. We are called to worship the God who gave us the Bible, and who preserved it through the centuries of people who sought to destroy it.

We are also called to preserve the ancient, original English translations of the Bible… and that is what we do here at WWW.GREATSITE.COM

Consider the following textual comparison of the earliest English translations of John 3:16, as shown in the English Hexapla Parallel New Testament:

  • 1st Ed. King James (1611): „For God so loued the world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne: that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life.”
  • Rheims (1582): „For so God loued the vvorld, that he gaue his only-begotten sonne: that euery one that beleeueth in him, perish not, but may haue life euerlasting”
  • Geneva (1560): „For God so loueth the world, that he hath geuen his only begotten Sonne: that none that beleue in him, should peryshe, but haue euerlasting lyfe.”
  • Great Bible (1539): „For God so loued the worlde, that he gaue his only begotten sonne, that whosoeuer beleueth in him, shulde not perisshe, but haue euerlasting lyfe.”
  • Tyndale (1534): „For God so loveth the worlde, that he hath geven his only sonne, that none that beleve in him, shuld perisshe: but shuld have everlastinge lyfe.”
  • Wycliff (1380): „for god loued so the world; that he gaf his oon bigetun sone, that eche man that bileueth in him perisch not: but haue euerlastynge liif,”
  • Anglo-Saxon Proto-English Manuscripts (995 AD): “God lufode middan-eard swa, dat he seade his an-cennedan sunu, dat nan ne forweorde de on hine gely ac habbe dat ece lif.”
  1. FOXES-BOOK-OF-MARTYRS.COM
  2.  TYNDALE-BIBLE.COM
  3. GUTENBERG-BIBLE.COM 1611-KING-JAMES-BIBLE.COM
  4. KING-JAMES-VERSION-BIBLE.COM
  5. PARALLEL-BIBLE.COM
  6. FOR-BIBLE-COMMENTARY.COM
  7. NEW-TESTAMENT-GREEK.COM
  8. JOHN-WYCLIFFE.COM
  9. FOR-MARTIN-LUTHER.COM
  10. JOHN-CALVIN.NET
  11. WILLIAM-TYNDALE.COM
  1. Wycliffe Bible Translators estimate they will finish translating the Bible in all languages by 2025
  2. Reformation Day October 31, 1517: The Bible and Martin Luther
  3. The First (1385) English Bible Translator – John Wycliffe’s Life – (Video)
  4. Church History – John Wycliffe (1320-1384) translated the first English language Bible
  5. ‪The Forbidden Book – „History of the English Bible”

What Were the Original Languages of the Bible?

I found this excellent article at Biblegateway.com and I thought I’d share it:

Photo credit http://www.human-resonance.org (ancient Aramaic scroll, though, not from the OT)

What language was the Bible originally written in? Pastors and seminarians can probably answer that easily enough, but the rest of us might have only a vague idea that the Bible was written in one of those “dead” languages. Ancient Greek? Latin, perhaps?

The Bible was actually written in three different ancient languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. While (a modern version of) each of these languages is spoken today, most modern readers of those languages would have some difficulty with the ancient versions used in the Biblical texts. It’s strange to think that we might hardly recognize the most influential book in the world in its original form!

Hebrew, Language of (Most of) the Old Testament

Ancient Hebrew was the tongue of the ancient Israelites and the language in which most of the Old Testament was penned. Isaiah 19:18 calls it “the language of Canaan,” while other verses label it “Judean” and “language of the Jews” (2 Kings 18:26; Isaiah 36:11, 13; 2 Chronicles 32:18; Nehemiah 13:24).

Ancient Hebrew is a Semitic language that dates back past 1500 B.C. Its alphabet consists of 22 characters, all consonants (don’t worry; vowels were eventually added), and is written from right to left.

While Hebrew remained the sacred tongue of the Jews, its use as a common spoken language declined after the Jews’ return from exile (538 B.C.). Despite a revival of the language during the Maccabean era, it was eventually all but replaced in everyday usage by Aramaic. Modern Hebrew can trace its ancestry to Biblical Hebrew, but has incorporated many other influences as well.

What’s Aramaic?

Ancient Aramaic originated among the Arameans in northern Syria and became widely used under the Assyrians. A few passages in the Old Testament were written in Aramaic (Genesis 31:47; Ezra 4:8-6:18, 7:12-26; Jeremiah 10:11).

Some have compared the relationship between Hebrew and Aramaic to that between modern Spanish and Portuguese: they’re distinct languages, but sufficiently closely related that a reader of one can understand much of the other. Aramaic was very popular in the ancient world and was commonly spoken in Jesus’ time.

bible scribe

Photo credit hcsb.org

The New Testament wasn’t written in Hebrew?

Many people assume that the New Testament was written in Hebrew as well, but by the time the gospels were being written, many Jews didn’t even speak Hebrew anymore. Rome had conquered Greece, and the influence of Greek culture had saturated the empire. What’s interesting about Biblical Greek is that it didn’t use a high-class or complicated style; it was written in koine (common Greek), a language that could be understood by almost anyone, educated or not.

It’s amazing to see how the Word of God has traveled through languages and cultures. It began in the language of his chosen people, adopted the language of the Roman world, and now exists in over 2,000 different languages. Far from being a static, one-language text, the Bible actually embraces translation and cross-language accessibility by its very nature. Whether you read the Bible in its original languages or in one of thousands of modern tongues, it’s a blessing to be able to read God’s word today just as it was read thousands of years ago.

Traducătorii Bibliei estimează că vor ajunge la toate popoarele până în 2025 – Wycliffe Bible Translators estimate they will finish translating the Bible in all languages by 2025

  • Africa –
  1. Totalul limbilor straine/Number of languages =  2,108
  2. Limbi fara transl. Bibliei/Lang. needing translation = 805
  • Americas –
  1. Totalul limbilor straine/Number of languages  = 943
  2. Limbi fara transl. Bibliei/Lang. needing translation = 81
  • Asia –
  1. Totalul limbilor straine/Number of languages = 2,319
  2. Limbi fara transl. Bibliei/Lang. needing translation = 879
  • Europe –
  1. Totalul limbilor straine/Number of languages = 235
  2. Limbi fara transl. Bibliei/Lang. needing translation = 73
  • Pacific –
  1. Totalul limbilor straine/Number of languages = 1,243
  2. Limbi fara transl. Bibliei/Lang. needing translation = 414

ROMANIAN

Mai sunt încă 2,252 de limbi străine in care Biblia, sau Noul Testament, nu au fost traduse încă. Translatorii Wycliffe muncesc din greu sa traducă Biblia şi în aceste limbi. In unele cazuri, translatorii trebuie sa meargă şi să locuiască între aceste popoare ca să înveţe limba (care nu este cunoscută în afara acestor triburi) şi apoi să le scrie Biblia pe limba lor.

Bob Creston, preşedintele Wycliffe Bible Translators, cea mai mare organizaţie care se ocupă traducerea Bibliei, a declarat că Sfânta Scriptură va fi tradusă în toate limbile şi dialectele planetei în următorii 12 ani, „ceea ce ne aduce mai aproape de cea de-a doua venire a lui Isus Christos”.

Creston a anunţat joi că, în prezent, numărul celor care pot citi Biblia în limba maternă a ajuns la 4,9 miliarde de persoane, ceea ce înseamnă că Biblia mai trebuie tradusă în 1.919 de limbi şi dialecte. Momentan, există 2.167 de proiecte care se ocupă de traduceri, arată Wycliffe Global Alliance.

Preşedintele a mai declarat că demersurile organizaţiei pe care o conduce sunt o împlinire a profeţiei din Matei 24:14, despre revenirea lui Iisus. „Sunt convins că Dumnezeu Îşi doreşte ca oameni din fiecare trib şi fiecare naţiune să Îl cunoască.”

Learn how the Bible transforms people’s lives when it’s written in a language they can clearly understand, and discover how many language groups are still waiting for their own translation.

ENGLISH

Read more at these links – http://www.wycliffe.org and http://www.lastlanguagescampaign.org

Estimates suggest that almost 2,100 languages still need a Bible translation program started. Some speakers of these languages are Christians, struggling to unlock the truths of the Bible in a language not their own. Others live without knowledge of Christ at all.

Each day that passes, people all around the world die without God’s message of hope in their own heart language. Because of the urgency of this situation, Wycliffe has adopted Vision 2025—an initiative to see a Bible translation program in progress in every language still needing one by 2025.

Reaching the last languages with God’s Word requires an enormous amount of resources. In response to these needs, in November 2008 Wycliffe USA launched the Last Languages Campaign—a strategic commitment to raise our share of the resources needed to accomplish Vision 2025. More than $1 billion is needed to reach these last languages with God’s Word.

Biblia e cea mai citită carte din istorie – The Bible is still the number 1 most read book in all of history

Photo credit www.tbcmilton.com

ROMANIAN

Din milioanele de cărţi publicate în ultimele câteva secole, puţine au devenit de referinţă şi au ajuns să ocupe locuri fruntaşe în topul celor mai apreciate. Însă Biblia ocupă un detaşat loc I în topul celor mai citite cărţi din istorie.

Topul a fost realizat de cercetătorul James Chapman, după un proiect de cercetare care a durat mai mulţi ani şi care a inclus vânzarea cărţilor în ultima jumătate de secol. Biblia ocupă locul I, cu peste 4 miliarde de exemplare vândute, la distanţă semnificativă de cartea de pe locul al II-lea, o carte cu citate din Mao Zedong, cu 820 de milioane de volume vândute. Mao Zedong a fost un revoluționar chinez, teoritican politic și lider al Partidului Comunist Chinez.

Pe locul al III-lea, cu 400 de milioane de volume vândute, s-a situat Harry Potter, urmat de triolgia Frăţia Inelelor, cu 103 milioane de volume vândute.

Photo credit www.kevinhalloran.net

ENGLISH

Researcher James Chapman has compiled this look at the top 10 most-read books in the world. Chapman created the list by examining how many individual copies of the books had been printed and sold over the last 50 years. As you can see from the graphic below (created by designer Jared Fanning), The Bible leads the countdown by a large margin, with nearly 4 billion copies printed and sold globally in the last five decades. Quotations from the Works of Mao Tse-tung was No. 2 (820 million copies), followed by The Harry Potter series (400 million copies), The Lord of the Rings trilogy (103 million) and Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist (65 million). (Source Relevant magazine)

Click here to see 10 most-read books in the last 50 years.

graphic above (created by designer Jared Fanning)

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