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What do you believe about the Bible?

What do you believe about the Bible? How would you answer this question?
● Some would say that “the Bible is the inerrant and infallible word of God.
● Others would say “the Bible is a fiction book.”
Both of those answers are wrong! Read the rest of this blog by clicking here.
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What Does God Want People To Do?

What does God want people to do? This is obviously a loaded question, but to answer it we need to answer two more questions first.
(1) Which God?
(2) What people?
For most of my friends from the Christian heritages that I grew up with, the answer to the first question is either “Jesus” or “the Trinity.” For most of my friends from the Jewish traditions the answer is “Yahweh” or a euphemism (HaShem) for the unpronounceable name. And then there my atheists friends who say, “There is no god, so don’t worry about it!
The answers to the second question usually fall into two categories – insiders or outsiders. My Christian friends will usually ask if I am referring to Christians or non-Christians. Jewish friends will ask if I am talking about Jews or Gentiles. My atheist friends will just shake their heads. And of course, if we ask members of other religions we will get even more answers to both questions.
Since Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism trace their roots back to the Late Second Temple…

The Scrolls: Jesus In Context

However old and widespread the notion of “the Bible” as a series of books may be, though, it is a misleading concept.  The books of the Bible are not books in the modern sense of the word and did not exist as books in the ancient world. To see them as such distorts the historical reality. There were no books in ancient Israel -- there were only scrolls and clay tablets. In the late first century the early ancestor of books – the codex (a Greek invention) – began to gain popularity around the Mediterranean and in the Near East. In the world of Jesus, scrolls were the popular material upon which scribes wrote.
The Great Isaiah Scroll
It is important to understand that only about 10% of the population could read and write. “High literacy” was confined to a small group, to which scribes were the central figures. The account in Luke 4, where Jesus is handed the scroll of Isaiah, unrolls it and finds a specific section of the text and reads it to the synagogue audience indicates that Jesus w…

The Temple: Jesus In Context

The history of the descendants of Abraham from Moses to Jesus is divided into periods that reflect the temples of Yahweh – The Tabernacle of Moses, The First Temple and the Second Temple.
(1) When the Israelites entered Canaan, they brought the Tabernacle of Moses with them and established to semi-permanently at Shiloh (Joshua 18:1).
(2) When King David conquered Jerusalem in 1010 BCE, he transferred the Ark of the Covenant to a tent-shrine in his new capital. In 960 BCE Solomon built the First Temple and the elements of the Tabernacle were incorporated into it. The First Temple replaced the Tabernacle as the place where humans could approach the presence of Yahweh. The First Temple operated for 374 years until it was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE.
(3) The Second Temple began operations in 530 BCE under the authority of Cyrus the Great, King of the Persian Empire. It would continue to operate until 70 CE, about 43 years after Jesus was crucified. It was destroyed by Roman arm…

The Land: Jesus in Context

And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised . . .” (Genesis 17:7-12a)

And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the child, his name was called Jesus . . . (Luke 2:21a)
Jesus lived in the “promised land,” the land that Yahweh pro…

The Third Blessing and Mystery of the Seventh Day

In the seventh day the Creator completed Its mission, which It had made. The Creator rested on the seventh day from all Its mission, which It had made.
The key to understanding the Creator’s actions on the seventh day is discovering what the word “rested” meant to the ancient author and audience. The author couldn’t have made the importance of the seventh day any clearer, if he had painting a gigantic sign. Read the complete blog at -- https://wisdomofthebeginnings.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-third-blessing-and-mystery-of.html

Bishops, Emperors and Beliefs

There were Christian churches -- but not a Christian church, not one that was catholic, or universal -- until at least 325 CE, when the First Council of Nicea met (Thursday May 20th to Saturday June 19th) and formulated the first creed.1 The Council was called by Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. Why did the most powerful person in the Roman Empire call for a council of Christian bishops (leaders of the above churches) to assemble? Read the complete blog at -- https://lives1st.blogspot.com/2018/01/bishops-emperors-and-beliefs.html